The New Order

I took this photo in San Francisco, at Lee’s Sandwiches in the Tenderloin. It was raining. The rain had just started falling, but it would last all day and most of last night. On the drive up from L.A. everything was parched. The hills, which should be bright and green this time of year, were already the color of ash. The sky was hazy all the way up. 


Last night


Somewhere in almost every house in Nabi Saleh there is a sort of shrine, a small table or a shelf or a corner of a shelf arrayed with an assortment of the shell casings and spent munitions that litter the streets and olive groves and hillsides of the village—hard black rubber tear gas grenades, the shiny metal tear gas canisters fired in volleys of seven or more from launchers fixed to the roofs of Jeeps, the blue or black-tipped high-velocity canisters so lethal that the IDF briefly banned them, ugly little marbles of steel wrapped in hard black plastic and the dull green cartridges from which they spray, ordinary brass bullet casings in a variety of calibers. Last night a large contingent of soldiers raided the village. They went house by house, banging on doors, entering homes, taking photos, waking children in their beds. In the video above, shot by Bilal Tamimi, you can see them in his home, confiscating the empty shells, taking back their gifts to the community. They took four men and one teenaged boy with them when they left. I don't know if the link will work (it's to a private facebook page), but this video shows a young man who works as a pastry chef in Ramallah kissing his mother goodbye before the soldiers pull him away.


Quote of the day, or why I haven't posted lately


"Evidently the business of writing is one from whose clutches it is by no means easy to extricate oneself, even when the action itself has come to seem loathesome or even impossible. From the writer's point of view, there is almost nothing to be said in its defense, so little does it have to offer by way of gratification."

—W.G. Sebald, A Place in the Country







Almost Home

You should've seen the hand sanitizer aisle. It went on for miles.