Six a.m. cold and bright on a mid-November morning. Time to attach my brain to the Lying Machine and read one thousand lies an hour until I can crawl back into bed and dream of different lies.
For a month now I haven't been able to figure out whether it is worse that these lying mass killers expect that we are all this stupid or that many of us including people we all know are in fact exactly this stupid?
Watching this slaughter transpire with the full weight and power of 99.9% of our government and media is darkening and hardening me in a way I don't remember from Iraq. Perhaps it's social media. Perhaps I was young and naive then and didn't yet believe people were this evil.
I said that on Twitter the other day and it seems to be a common feeling for a lot of people like me. Like us. Some responses:
"'Nobody learned anything' is a pretty demoralizing thing to be so forcefully confronted with."
"It's seeing the fresh pile of bodies every day, the ashen-faced, lifeless kids, reflected against statements from people in our own government who continue to insist that they somehow had it coming. It's really bad for me, I fucking hate it, but I gotta bear witness."
"That's also why I can't let myself look away for too long. It's too important to be aware of what is happening instead of turning a blind eye and being ignorant of a genocide in real time, even though it makes me feel so helpless and full of dread/despair."
"So much this. Watching attacks literally happen in real time - rather than reading about them a day later, or watching a curated version on the evening news, is making it feel very different."
"We thought the last time was an aberration but now see it's business as usual. And we've only see it go around twice!"
"I am being deeply and irrevocably changed."
My god we are so lucky. Those of us just watching this hell on earth from the safety of our homes.
"We are stranded, we sent many SOS to the whole world – there has been no response, no response," Muhammad Abu Salmiya, al-Shifa Hospital’s director, told Al Jazeera over the weekend.
"The attacks have 'not stopped for a moment," Abu Mouth, a journalist reporting from inside the hospital, told Middle East Eye.
Meanwhile, Israeli snipers and armed drones have been targeting anyone moving between the different hospital buildings.
Abu Mouth told MEE that a 26-year-old woman tried to leave the hospital amid the siege and was targeted by an Israeli sniper.
"We are completely surrounded and the intense bombing is ongoing," Abu Mouth said.
"There is panic and fear amongst the wounded, sick, and displaced people inside the hospital. They are attacking everywhere and we cannot go out because of the snipers stationed around the hospital."
For the past couple of days we have been witnessing doctors like these literally going down with the ship. I find it hard to think of anything braver than that. Caring for patients until it's your turn to crawl onto the bed. Or into the morgue.
That is if there even is any room left for your body.
"Health ministry official Munir al-Bursh broke down on Monday morning on Al Jazeera as he explained that stray dogs were eating the bodies of civilians in the yard of the hospital, as no one was able to bury the dead amid the bombardment," Middle East Eye reported.
"There are bodies littered in the hospital complex and there is no longer electricity at the morgues," Abu Salmiyah said on Tuesday.
"'We were forced to bury them in a mass grave,' he said, adding that seven babies and 29 intensive care patients were among those who had died after fuel for the hospital's generator ran out."
Contrast all of that courage to the cowards lobbing bomb after bomb at the patients whose bodies they already destroyed.
Speak of the Devil in this video below.
I mean that literally.
"There is nothing like a good face mask to relax," this IDF ghoul says doing a little funny bit while the tank next to him turns rubble into smaller rubble and already broken bones into smaller bones.
But wait at least there's this kind of thing right? How powerful.
"In the name of love."
You have to admit it's powerful and liberating to see gay guys doing the massacring now. They used to not be able to do that openly. They used to not be able to be their true selves.
I was going to say that a solider smiling and holding an LGBT flag on a pile of debris and bone is the most succinctly defined example of liberalism I've seen in quite a while but don't worry every time you think like that something else comes along to remind you there is no bottom to it.
Here's my senator Elizabeth Warren for example. (Last seen telling a constituent whose family was being killed that she was busy having dinner and this wasn't the right place to talk about the war.) Still no call for a ceasefire but she has managed to propose the one thing Democrats can think of to do for any problem which is come up with a way to send more money to cops.
Why not go one step further? Why not have those cops integrated into the local mosques to just sort of keep an eye on things. No one even has to know that they're there.
Here's another one who can't bring himself to say the word ceasefire.
"A long enough cessation of hostilities..."
My god they are stretching the thesaurus to its absolute limits man.
None of that made me feel as sick as this exchange with Chris Coons did.
Senator why don't you call for a ceasefire? 4600 hundred children killed.
"This is the quiet car," Coons says.
It's perfect. It's triple-distilled Democrat. Confronted with his own complicity in war crimes the first thing he can think of to do is defer not to the Geneva Conventions but to the sacrosanct Rules of the Amtrak Quiet Car.
Elsewhere Chuck Schumer and other Democrats and Republican leaders alike and our most phone-addled genocidal celebrities are set to speak today at a rally to support Israel (?) Israeli President Isaac Herzog will be there too. I'm not entirely sure what the point of such a rally in D.C. is exactly. What more from the U.S. government could they possibly need? By the time all our money and arms go through will there be anything left to bomb?
Herzog you may remember from a couple weeks ago saying that all of Palestine is complicit and there are no innocent civilians.
He also tried pulling a weird one the other day saying they found an annotated copy of Mein Kampf "in a children's living room" (?) that Hamas had turned into a base. Kind of a confusing lie to be honest but the point he was trying to get across is that children in Palestine are being weaned on Hitler from a tender age and therefore they are going to grow up to hate Jews anyway so it's basically fine to kill them now.
I don't usually do this but I want to reprint a couple of comments on the most recent Hell World here because most of you probably didn't see them. (Paid subscribers can comment on any post if that's something you'd like to do.)
Maybe two weeks ago Motaz Azaiza shared a video on his instagram story. It's a video of a boy, but the first thing you see is not the boy – except it is. It's just that you see all the blood and gore before you're able to tell that it's a boy, and you're able to tell it's a boy before you're able to tell that he's still alive.
He was laid out on the tile floor. His left leg, or maybe both legs, were gone. I didn't know it was possible for human flesh and muscle to look like that. I thought, "Oh god, oh god, those strings of muscle must have gotten snagged when they pulled him out of the rubble." Is there any way to describe that sort of pain? I try and try to imagine it but I can't. My mind cuts me off and makes me shudder. That isn't the worst part. His shirt was pulled up and his torso was an unnatural color and shape. I'll never forget it. Pale from blood loss and grey from dust, in stark contrast to the dark reds and purples of the rest of his body. The shape. Something was wrong. Everything was wrong. That isn't the worst part. His face was half crushed. Someone – a doctor? someone just trying to help? – kept attempting to wipe away the blood and dust and debris on his face. To treat the injuries, presumably. Everything was an injury. This is the worst part: He screamed. Multiple times. It didn't sound like a regular scream, how could it when his throat was partially crushed? Do you know how the scream of a little boy sounds when it travels over blood and broken bone? Agony. He tried to lift his arm. He couldn't get very far. I kept thinking of all the people who said there was no more anesthetic left in the hospitals. No relief.
On the bus back from the DC protest we passed the mic around and shared whatever we thought needed sharing. Someone towards the back talked about a story she heard. A mother saw her son running towards her when a bomb fell on him. She saw him turn to pieces right in front of her. That night he appeared in her dream. "Did it hurt?" she asked. He said, "No, mama, it only felt like a pinch." The girl on the bus said that in the Quran there's a line that reads, “The martyr does not feel the pain of being killed except as one of you feels the pinch of an insect bite.”
Today I saw a video from AJ+ on X. Al Jazeera correspondent Youmna ElSayed talked about how her children have been asking her and her husband whether it will hurt when they're bombed, or if they'll die right away. Youmna said, "And I have to explain to them, 'No, don't worry, it's not going to hurt.' Their father is like, 'Don't worry. It just goes 'whoosh' one time and that's it.'"
I had an Israeli friend who I met on my birthright trip back in 2017. She was a pilates instructor and also led a non-profit that made baked goods and cards for senior citizens so they would have people to talk to when they did not have any close family. Someone you might look at and say was a good and decent human being.
I don't know all her previous thoughts on Gaza and the occupation, but I do now. One of her friends was killed during the Oct 7th attacks and her instagram stories went from studio and charity pictures to reposts of hateful messages. And I thought the anger and grief was understandable until about two weeks later when reports were coming out about Israel cutting off utilities in Gaza and she reposted a tweet that said "Gaza you can make bombs so you can make electricity." And it just short circuited something in my brain that someone I walked through Yad Vashem with that pointed out the different camps where her family members were killed could hold that contempt and that desire for another group of people.
Art Spiegelman has the often repeated quote on his book, Maus "It doesn't say that people were made better by suffering," he said. "It's just caused them a lot of pain." And yet, my brain still has trouble sitting with the idea that people who have the capacity for love in their heart can be so cruel, but I guess that's how all genocides work. Even ethnic cleansers still have families.
I forget if I already recently shared this old piece or not but I've been thinking about it so here it is anyway. From five years ago this week:
I don’t really know what hell is but I don’t think it’s a place where bad things happen to people randomly such as natural disasters and death because that’s just what the regular world is. I think it’s probably more accurate to say it’s a place where bad things happen because someone wanted them to happen to you or just let them happen out of negligence and indifference. Where bad things happen and they didn’t have to but your life was less important to someone else than what they thought they had to gain.
Meanwhile it says there might be flurries this morning here in Massachusetts. It probably won't accumulate but the first snow is always so pretty.