Thursday, October 23, 2008

Machiavelli's Dame Fortuna smiling on Hegel's Zeitgeist on Horseback

Machiavelli's Dame Fortuna smiling on Hegel's Zeitgeist on Horseback or in other words, Obama.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


The location: Azuya Soba Restaurant, Morioka, Japan
August 10th.
A dream fulfilled:

It began with a mere 15 bowls of Wanko soba. That is the same as eating one regular serving of soba.

It continued until:

The aftermath:

82 bowls. The young guys behind me were each past 90 when we left. The record is about 500. The typical guy does 60.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A beautiful day

Box spring mattress hell
Early rising sleepy head
A beautiful day


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sunrise over Takadanobaba

I did not say it was easy to see, but if you look the sun is there. The sunrise always comes. The clouds are moving quickly. Here on the 15th floor with my desk facing my sliding glass door which leads to my balcony, I have never had a better view day after day. The freedom that is in the clouds unfolds itself before me. Freedom is being able to choose when you sleep and when you look at the sky.

Adam Markus
July 3, 2008

How most people find this blog

Most people find this blog by doing a Google search on "July 4th poetry" or "July 4th poems" or on "Marshmallow Diet." As to the latter topic, I wish such a thing really existed because I could use it. As to the former, the last one I experienced in the US was 2001. The 4th of July in that part of Japan I live in, the part not occupied by US military, is just another day. I sometimes think about doing something on the 4th, but the only thing that really occurs to me is to write poems about an America that never was and will likely not be. It exists only in my head, the debris of a undergraduate and graduate level education in political philosophy: A Socratic flâneur. Though to confess, I am a coward who no doubt would have taken exile over hemlock. Or perhaps I have done that already.

Adam Markus
July 4, 2008

July 4, 2008

July 4, 2008

This shining city on a hill
It is just over the horizon
The city is there waiting
It longs for citizens

Today the city is hidden by fireworks
On other days it is ignored
So much TV to watch and money to make
The city can't compete with crass longing

It has a higher purpose
A few will aspire to it
Maybe someday it will be occupied
But now we ignore it for firecrackers

-Adam Markus
July 3, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bush gets booed

I am not a baseball fan, but I like a good boo!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Some things you can only lose once

Some things you can only lose once: a mother, a father, a daughter, a son, a grandmother, a grandfather, a wife, a husband, a friend
Wherever you look you find them, but they are only memories that have filled the emptiness
poor consolation for a gap that will be filled only by time and habit or not at all

March 26, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Dream of the Ticket

I am sitting in my uncle's seat in first class on a airplane. My uncle will be coming soon and I have to get out of his seat so that I can go catch my flight. He is a politician and has someplace important to go to, but seems to have wanted me to sit in his seat first. I put the seat back in the upright position, exit the airplane, and look at my ticket to see what gate I have to go to.

The ticket in my hand is for a flight in two weeks to Chicago and I can't find my ticket for today's flight. I can't even remember where I will be going today or at what time. I may have missed my flight. It is now 20:00.

I am not panicked because I have my ANA millage card and I know I bought the ticket online. I decide to go to the ticket counter and retrieve all the necessary information using my millage card.

Now that I have plan, I know everything will be fine. However, I begin to panic because there is no ticket counter and no one seems to be able to help me. Actually everything appears to be closed and the few people who are around ignore me. I become simultaneously annoyed and desperate. At this point I wake up and reassure myself that this dream could never happen to me: I am in control. I begin checking all details of my upcoming appointments. Even now, I worry that I have forgotten some small detail without which all my plans will come to nothing.

March 17, 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

As the crows fly

As the crows fly overhead,
I wonder when? When?
More pass above me and my question remains.
I look down, the signs are all about me.
And yet, I walk through the forest unsullied.

Adam Markus

Thursday, February 14, 2008

McCain: Flipper on the nuclear trigger?

I think all dems have to do is show variants of this video. The contradictions are many and growing now that McCain is pandering to the right.

McCain's Insane Analogy

I suppose the whole thing could be dismissed as mere rhetoric:

Q: President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years -- " (cut off by McCain)

McCain: "Make it a hundred."

Q: "Is that ..." (cut off)

McCain: "We've been in South Korea ... we've been in Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea 50 years or so. That would be fine with me. As long as Americans ..."

Q: [tries to say something]

McCain: "As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. That's fine with me, I hope that would be fine with you, if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where Al Queada is training and equipping and recruiting and motivating people every single day.

And yet, I think actually this is just another example of the same kind of delusional fantasy that got us into Iraq in the first place. Comparing Japan or South Korea to Iraq is crazy and totally ahistorical.

The occupation of the Japanese mainland did not involve fighting with insurgents, it involved the quick and effective transformation of a broken unified enemy into a functional state governed by the rule of law and the establishment of a representative government. It involved the active cooperation of the Emperor, not his hanging, but his active involvement as a source of stability in a new constitutional order. It involved the transformation of military power into economic power. The US presence in Japan after the Occupation ended has been peaceful (except for the crimes committed by American soldiers), but it always was. My late uncle Lee Weinberger, who was stationed in Japan soon after the occupation remembered those times fondly. All the vets do/did, because they had a great time. Does anyone expect an Iraqi version of The Teahouse of the August Moon? Hardly a hardship assignment, throughout the post-war period, going to Japan, like assignment in any peaceful country where the local population is friendly, was and is safe and usually fun compared to entering a war zone in Korea, Vietnam, or now in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Korean War is obviously of a very different character than WW2. An important part of the Cold War, it was also a civil war. Once the border was demarcated, North Korean insurgents/terrorists/soldiers were a source of relatively minor conflict, but such scattered incidents do not make for effective comparisons to Iraq. Consider also the fact that many South Koreans are members of American Protestant denominations and the comparison really makes no sense.

The idea that staying in Iraq will be peaceful is nonsense because as long as we are in Iraq ,Americans will be harmed and will have to live in bunkers. And the reason for that is that we have destroyed Iraqi society and replaced it with multiple conflicting units that seem unlikely to ever reach a consensus.

The surge may have reduced the level of conflict, it may be beating Al Quada, but it will not stop Sunnis from killing Shiates. We should stabilize our relations with the Kurds (and help them stabilize theirs with the Turks), help put a very loose federal system in place, and get out. All else is the madness of old men with a poor grasp of the history of the 20th Century. McCain's rhetoric reveals both ignorance and delusion. He should scare you.