Friday, June 24, 2005

"Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics"


“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
~Benjamin Disraeli, 1804 - 1881


Last night I dreamed about spider webs. Lots of spider webs.

I mean no offense to my arachnid friends – I appreciate everything you do and every mosquito you eat. But your webs make me nuts.

Every morning I step off the front porch into a spiderweb that’s been built overnight, usually from the maple tree to the gutter. I open the door to the truck and there’s another one, waiting for me to step in and tangle myself up.

They drive me nuts. I ought to know by now where they are, but every time I run into one it still surprises me – how stupid is that?

They get in my hair, they get in my eyelashes, they surround me with delicate sticky tingles that I can’t seem to ever get off, no matter how much I thrash around.

I can sweep them down with a broom before I go to bed at night and another dozen will be waiting for me the next morning. There are more spiders than I can keep track of, and the last thing I want to do is kill them – I’m just not that kind of a person. I like to relocate them when they come in the house. To me, it’s bad luck to kill a spider.

These dream webs reminded me strongly of the pervasiveness of ultraconservative thought and dishonesty in the Bush administration. Everywhere you turn – and I mean everywhere -- you run into another instance of hypocrisy, downright dirty-ass lies, and a scary us-or-them mentality that quite frankly has me pretty damned jumpy these days.

Yesterday was a hard day all around. The lack of nicotine and lack of sleep was making me beyond edgy. Duckie was a mess – I really think seeing Dick Cheney on the TV and hearing his oh-so-smooth delivery of No Response At All may have severely traumatized her. Brian’s going through a rough time of year, too, so there are a lot of odd energies running rampant through our valley.

I’m spending probably too much time reading other people’s blogs, but I can’t help myself. Before I went to college, there was this school out in the desert that I was lucky enough to attend for a special summer session, and folks out there were much smarter and more well-informed than I was. And we would talk all the time, obsessively, about things that mattered and things that didn’t, about what was right and what was wrong. The sheer scope of the ongoing discussion was intoxicating.

That’s what my discovery of the political blogosphere feels like – intoxication, but not in a good way. You know how when you’ve been driving for hours, when you finally get to that cheap, stinky motel and close your eyes, you still see the lines of the road in front of you? That’s what it feels like. Like I can’t stop the thoughts, like there’s this compulsive clicker sitting at a desk in the back of my head, her hair unwashed, her skin pasty from lack of sunlight, her right wrist aching from the repetitive motion. Eyes red from regular outbursts of tears and fury, blood pressure through the roof, a stream of obscenities pouring from her mouth.

On the other side of the dusty, neglected attic in my head, the clicker’s twin sits curled up in a ball, her face crushed between her knees. She rocks back and forth and occasionally emits a low, helpless moan. Make it stop, she begs the clicker. Please, God, make it stop.

Occasionally it does stop, especially when I can escape to such sublime banality as Dancing with the Stars, or some other schlock meant to drug the masses into unquestioning sleepwalking. Or I read, usually fiction, because it’s really hard to assimilate Thich Nhat Hahn’s loving Buddhist outlook on life into the current conservative hell I’m living in now. Although he’s quite likely exactly what I should be reading now, given his experience with totalitarian governments.

Now I’m reading Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Lathe of Heaven. Damned if I can remember where I got the reference from, but it’s fascinating and incredibly creepy stuff. It’s about a man who dreams things into reality.

So, given the variables in my life right now, it doesn’t surprise me at all that I dreamed about spider webs.


I’m escaping this weekend to our happy backyard haven, at Brian’s suggestion. We’re pitching a tent on the newly mown grass-hay, filling a small pool for Duckie and spending the day outside. Our good friend Coz from Charlotte is coming to visit, too.

I will enjoy the sunshine, I will drink inordinate amounts of Splenda-sweetened tea, and I will not turn on the news one single time.

In the meantime, the Bush administration will continue to spin their web of lies, and doubtless I will discover some of them on Monday. For now, I wish my loyal readers (the five or so of you out there) much happiness and stable moods over the weekend.


James said...

Hope you have a nice and relaxing time Andi. I wish that I could disconnect from politics too but I feel that I must stand up and fight as I know you do too. I am addicted too with blogs and the internet. I spend all my damn time on here but I can't get motivated to do anything else. Sheesh.

The Rambling Taoist said...

I really like your analogy of spider webs & Bush lies. I'd never thought of the Administration in that way, but it sure fits! If only we could dispatch with the lies as easily as swatting away those dang spider webs!

EB said...

Here's a clip from the Dream Dictionary on a search for spiders (I couldn't find spider webs, tho):( - a compilation of regular dictionary defs, along with other more esoteric defs)

Seeing a spider in your dream indicates that you are feeling like an outsider in some situation. Or that you may want to keep your distance and stay away from an alluring and tempting situation. The spider is also symbolic of feminine power. Alternatively, a spider may refer to a powerful force protecting you against your self-destructive behavior. If you kill a spider, it symbolizes misfortune and general bad luck. Seeing a spider spinning a web in your dream means that you will be rewarded for your hard work. You will soon find yourself promoted in your job or recognized for your achievement in a difficult task. Spiders are a symbol of creativity due to the intricate webs they spin. On a negative note, spiders may indicate a feeling of being entangled or trapped in a sticky or clingy relationship. It represents some ensnaring and controlling force. You may feel that someone or some situation is sucking the life right out of you. Seeing a spider climbing up a wall in your dream indicates that your desires will be soon be realized. Dreaming that you are bitten by a spider, represents a conflict with your mother or some dominant female figure in your life. The dream may be a metaphor for a devouring mother or the feminine power to possess and entrap.

Consider how effectively the Bush administration- and let's be honest, the Clinton administration before that, and Reagan's, and really all the way back to Roosevelt (with the gracious exception of Jimmy Carter)- have manipulated the media networks to achieve their agenda by distracting American public with a 'painted lady' (American Idol is one glaring example, and I could of course go on and on and on).

Those media networks resemble a spider's web, and have a pervasive 'feminizing' effect, i.e. an ability to weaken critical thinking and logical sensibilities (pardon my postfeminist jargon here). Just as any woman who seeks to seduce will paint herself up and armor herself in the regalia of seduction and dance the dance of the seven veils....all the while John the Baptist's head is being severed (and pardon the biblical reference), old J the B being our sense of Righteousness (not in the biblical sense, but in the sense of unwavering adherence to the truth of the heart).

My point, rather rambingly made so far, is that the Neo-Cons have hijacked an extremely powerful (and powerful precisely because it has the feminine ability to seduce) source of disemmeninating information to complete their agenda, which is the agenda of engendering chaos in order to re-create order in the their own image- all while keeping minds from focusing on them (never mind that man behind the curtain). Create political disruptions in strategic areas so that "rebuilding" and "reconstruction" become necessary. And then that necessary reconstruction can be handled by the Haliburtons and Carlyle Groups, making the fat cats even fatter.

The center cannot hold. We know that, in spite of "our lying eyes". Keep dreaming, Andi. Even the unpleasant ones have a truth to tell.

SB Gypsy said...

Hi Andi,

Great Rant! I also hate to kill spiders, and have a friend who's house was so full of black widow spiders, that she was afraid to kill the one near her washer, in the shed outside. That one grew fat & sassy, but never bothered anyone. The ones in her attic liked it up there, and didn't come down into the house. Everyone was happy.

I know what you mean about being addicted to the blogosphere. I'm on the computer every day, and spend time at various blogs - yours is one of my favorites! (thank the gods for DSL- the internet the way it's SUPOSED to be...)

dream interpretation said...

Hi Andi, I was out surfing on the net looking for the lastest info on dream dictionary. Ok this post wasn't exactly what I was looking for but it got my attention and interest , now I see why I found your page when I was looking for dream dictionary anyway I'm glad I stopped by you have a great blog. Thanks for the read ...catch you later!

dreams said...

Hi Andi greetings from down under. I was searching for the latest information on dream dictionary , I can see how I landed on your page. While this post wasn't exactly what I was looking for. (I was after dream dictionary related stuff) I ejoyed reading your blog, I'll come back agin to read future posts. Take Care.

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