Ten Days In And Craving More
· 2 July 2004 ·

July is in the air and indeed the weather here has been quite fair.

I have been enjoying the first ten days of summer to their fullest. There have been two trips to Ebey, two trips to the theater, a few trips to Whistle, and there was a little family reunion over here last weekend too. On the first day of summer I made it over to Ebey for the first time in nearly a year. Pat and I arrived to find ourselves amidst a group of para-gliders who were taking advantage of the windy bluff with varied success. There was never more than one in the air at a time and it was quite amusing to be around when the one guy would be floating over head. He’d be close enough to hold a conversation with the others. The four guys still grounded would ask the guy in the air how the wind was higher up and then shout out jealous remarks about their inability to take off. While sitting around watching this parachute sport we talked with a guy who was about our age and had rode his Harley over here from Boston to see his sister graduate from Evergreen. Later on Pat and I hung out with him and two of his sister’s friends, roasted marshmallows, and conversed about traveling around the country. Two days later I returned with Colin and Zack and then out of nowhere Pat showed up later in the evening. A full collection of photos can be seen here and here.

Then the relatives started showing up in Anacortes. When my Mom’s family has a real family reunion there are about thirty cousins around, but now that they’re all grown up, not too many showed. In fact, no more than four cousins were here and only two stayed for more than a day. The star of the show was Johnny, my one year old cousin. The next youngest cousin I have is over ten years older than him, and the oldest is about forty years older than him. Nice gap, isn’t it? So somewhere in the middle of this family fest, I made it over to Burlington to see Fahrenheit 9/11. My brother Nathaniel, cousin Ruby, and I made it there about half an hour early which seemed excessive, but it was the second night it was showing and there was still a huge line. I’ve never seen a line like that for any movie other than hugely anticipated flicks on their opening night, but this was a documentary. I was fired up.

To be blunt the film is excellent in many ways, but can still be said to have some faults. To begin with, it’s surprisingly entertaining – there is a harmonious mixture of humor, drama, and the kind of content that really gets you thinking. After all, thinking is what it’s supposed to have us do. Regardless of how one is to think about what’s presented, this film helps to further invigorate the dialogue that surrounds our country, its presidency, and its foreign policy. Most of the legitimate criticism that I’ve read surrounding Fahrenheit 9/11 is that given the format of a two hour movie it isn’t able to present us with information in a way that shows much credibility. The best reviews I’ve read bring this up, but make note that the film succeeds regardless of credibility – as it isn’t necessarily pertinent to the goal. Michael Moore is strongest when he highlights the obvious and puts it into an entertaining, easily digestible format. The obvious in this case includes the fact that all war is horror, but it is even more horrible when it’s as unnecessary as the war in Iraq. Moore shows us soldiers who have been shocked by the reality of war and are left asking, “Why, for what?” This is the kind of material that lies outside the bounds of “credible evidence” and partisan squabbling. Nevertheless, the wealth of details that are offered regarding the Bush family and Bush administration’s financial ties to terrorists certainly do help to contribute to the national debate of how much this guy deserves a second chance (especially after he never earned a first chance). Enough about that though, just thinking about Bush around for another four years makes me nauseous.

Aside from that I’ve simply been doing a little swimming, some web site work, and a lot of music listening. Let’s see, in the past month or so I’ve mostly been listening to CocoRosie, Kazumi Nikaidoh, the new Mirah album, the new Laura Veirs album, the latest Blonde Redhead, The Cure, Morrisey, Iron and Wine, Broken Social Scene, The Notwist, Four Tet, and Mum. I’ve also recently had much pleasure listening to Wyatt’s album for the first time. Extremely impressed to say the least.

My plans for the rest of the summer remain pretty indefinite, but the possibility of doing some serious traveling (like to SE Asia or Europe) are significantly higher because I happen to have a bit more money than I thought. I’m already feeling tears from some and smiles from others. I’ll keep everyone posted though. One thing that’s for sure is that by next Tuesday I’ll be smack dab in the middle of the Oregon Dunes. Yay!

Written by Philip Ashlock