Oh look, Osama’s dead

… And “buried at sea”, apparently. Hm. Interesting.

What scares me now is retaliation, the re-imagining of Osama as a “glorious martyr” and so on. Let’s hope all efforts that go in that direction will be amateurish at best.

The Globe and I listened to the President’s address together. “That’s our President – I voted for him,” I told The Globe (speaking of that, I hope the Embassy paperwork won’t be too horrifying for when The Globe is born). The Globe twitched and kicked. “On September 11, 2001, I was in high school,” I told The Globe. “You don’t even know what high school is yet. Anyway, Mr. Che said that the person responsible will be caught. It’s nearly a decade later, and here I am, already pregnant with you, and two wars later, it finally happened.”

The Globe kicked some more. He’s really far away from all of that now, completely oblivious to even the barest notion of international terrorism, of the prolonged conflict in Afghanistan, of civilians killed. He’s far away from all that, and for now, I’m glad.

Hey Obama, fighting for women’s rights IS fighting terrorism

So I received the news about the Obama Administration’s priorities in regards to the marital rape law in Afghanistan via Matt today.

It seems odd to me that “defeating al-Qaeda” is somehow seen as a totally separate quest from ensuring the rights of Afghan women.

Excuse me Barack, but what is it that you think al-Qaeda is about?

I know that us Americans are very much used to seeing the world as being all about us, but the truth is – the terrorists’ top priority is keeping their house in order. They want to be empowered in their own land and women have long borne the brunt of their megalomaniac fantasies. Appeasing them will not magically translate into defeating them.

The U.S. government has long since employed the policy that hey, whatever, rights for the little ladies aren’t important in the grand scheme of things. And yet those “little ladies” are the canary in the coalmine. If their situation is not stable, it’s a sure bet that Afghanistan as a whole isn’t exactly stable either.

This kind of half-assed “uh, rape is bad and all, but, um, yeah” is corrupt, dishonest, hypocritical and maddening.

Break from Snark: Interview Meme

Charlotte is to blame for this one. 😉

1. You used to live in the Carolinas, now you live in Amman with frequent visits to the Ukraine. Why did you move and will you be going back to the US anytime soon?

I was in a pretty nasty situation in the States, due to student debt and not really being able to find a job that would allow me to make the requisite monthly payments (this was before the crisis, mind you – with higher interest rates). Also, my Boyfriend and I were facing some problems – I couldn’t really find an entry level job in Canada as an American, he had a similar problem as a Canadian in the States. So we started thinking about a place where we could both work. Then I got the offer to edit this magazine – and the chips just fell into place.

I want to be back in the States within a couple of years – either that or Europe – but I want to be in a stabler financial situation first. And I want to keep working on the magazine. It’s pretty much my dream job.

2. Who are your top three fantasy boyfriends?

This is a VERY important topic…. Well, first of all – Legolas. Not necessarily the movie version (although I loved the shield-surfing and whatnot – shut UP haters, your opinions have been noted and filed away a number of years ago). Just you know – a hot, brave, occasionally snarky Elf. Orlando Bloom’s natural dark hair probably suits Legolas more, btw. So a hot Elf with dark curls. Perfect.

Then there’s Ewan McGregor – whose films pretty much made me into a woman.

And finally – where would I be without at least one great footballer in my life? I know we’re supposed to think of footballers as egotistical dumbasses – but my aunt used to be married to a Ukrainian one, and he was a doll. I refuse to think he’s the exception. So which one would I pick? Iker Casillas – another Greatest Hit from my childhood.

Runners-up include everyone from Anton Chekhov to James Purefoy, from Viktor Tsoi to Chiwetel Ejiofor. I have a lot of fantasy boyfriends. We all need them in these dark and troubling times.

3. Money is no object. Describe your dream holiday.

A dream holiday should be – part frivolity, part bonding, part beauty, part learning experience, and part crazy-ass shit. So I think I’d go to New Zealand. With friends. And hopefully also see some people there that I have wanted to meet for a while.

4. Obama’s been in office for five weeks. Give him a report card, and give reasons for his grades.

Cant I just give him a B+ overall? Because I think he’s doing a good job, and I also think that he has inherited a mess, and a lot of that mess isn’t even controlled by the President’s office, but some of it is, and it is all quite confusing. I don’t think he’s buckling though. Not at all.

5. Which book have you just finished reading, what are you reading now and what’s next on the TBR pile?

I’ve just finished reading The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale. If you’re interested in detectives – both fictional and real-life, you must read this nonfiction account of a murder in 1860’s England, and the hysteria it caused. There’s a tremendous darkness within it, but it’s a darkness that’s worth it. This book will stay with you for a long time.

Right now I’m reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It’s an oldie – but when it came out, I was not old enough for it (I didn’t even speak English, back then). I’ve been on a Neil Gaiman kick for a while now, and am omnivorously consuming everything by him. It’s love. The writerly kind.

Next I’d like to dip into some horror stories – I just bought the anthology Gathering the Bones. I also recently realized that as much as I had loved The Virgin Suicides, I’d never gotten around to reading Jeffrey Eugenides’ follow-up: Middlesex. I recently spied it on a friend’s bookshelf, and now it is mine, mine, miiine.

Want to participate in the meme? Drop me a line in the comments section, and I will e-mail you some questions.

Yes We Did

There is so much joy in the air today.

I’d like to share two pieces with you: Sarah Jaffe’s report from Obama’s headquarters in Northeast Philly, and Renee Martin’s take on this historic win as a black woman and the mother of children who are set to grow up in a world that’s just a little more hopeful than it used to be.

As morning set in here in Amman, a fellow writer called to ask me for comment on this whole thing, and I don’t think I made much sense at all. I was crying. It wasn’t even embarrassing at that point, I had no strength for even entertaining feelings of embarrassment. I was overcome.

This is the first time in my life that the political process has made me feel this way. I’m still young, so I hope it’s not the last.

Yesterday, both expats and locals of American citizenry came up to me here in Amman and, overhearing my American accent, asked if I had voted for Obama. Early on election day, at the gym, I saw people literally cheering from their treadmills when Al Jazeera English flashed to photos of Barack Obama.

It turned me into a completely different person. A sap.

It turns out that I really like being a sap. Running on just a few hours of sleep, with a migraine to beat all migraines, and yet this is one of the brightest days I have seen in a long time.