October 11th, 2010

My wonderful Meg kitty.

(no subject)

I owe level_head a poem mimicking the style of Service's The Cremation of Sam McGee about this.

This is a minorly edited version of my Burning Man experience.

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It's worth noting that -- at the time -- relsqui and I had been dating for just under three months. At the time, things were very much new and good (and they continued that way until very near the end of 2007).

The someone who died in a similar fashion was Katharine Lampman. Her tale is eerily similar and told in an email I received a few days later. My understanding is that she jumped off at the same place I fell off and was run over by the same tire which had only struck and thrown me forward.

I remind myself of this every so often. I try to imagine what it would have been like to died that way. What the pain would have been like. It's enough to make me shudder.

One silly note on reading back through this: I remember after I'd been hit and was standing up, there was a big circle of people about 5 paces in radius around me. I remember there was complete silence as I was standing up. It hurt and no one was helping me. I thought about asking for help, but I was curious to see if I could stand up on my own.

Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I thought "This must be what it's like being an abomination created in a necromantic ceremony. Complete silence and horror as you display signs of life by standing up."

When the silence was broken by someone asking "Are you OK?", it was such an obvious question that I almost laughed. I would have laughed if it hadn't been a challenge to actually get up -- my legs were shaky (probably from adrenaline) and I wasn't sure how much of me was in one piece. I expected it to hurt a lot worse and collapse at any moment.

In retrospect, I think the simplicity of the question actually reflected a great deal of surprise that I was able to get up.
My wonderful Meg kitty.

(no subject)

Someone posted that they were happy today was National Coming Out Day instead of Columbus Day.

Let me make one thing clear. By all the evidence, Columbus -- as an explorer -- was a pretty good guy. While noting that he could enslave and conquer the Indians trivially, he elected not to.

Instead of forcing the natives to help him in the darkest hours of his last expedition, he predicted a lunar eclipse and got their willing assistance.

He was attacked by a native tribe (the Ciguayos) and defended himself and his crew. He took some hostages back to Spain, but one could hardly see that as unjust.

He intervened honorably by rescuing two native boys who had been castrated by their captors.

The worst thing he did was bring disease to the New World. No one in the world back then knew that this was a danger. It wasn't until 100 years afterwards that Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope and discovered germs.

Even that's not that bad. His expeditions likely brought syphilis to Europe and resulted in an estimated five million deaths, so it was at least fair.

Don't blame him for the actions of Sepulveda, Cortez, Pizzaro, or the others who came after him.