Last night I lay in bed for a long time with my eyes closed and the television on. CNN was covering ongoing events in Tripoli and the surrounding regions and “covering” never seemed so passive. I heard Anderson Cooper’s and Nic Robertson’s American and British voices slowly and steadily going back-and-forth, not even rising and falling, regretting, clucking, and periodically praising each other’s journalistic efforts. There was a long exchange about whether the Lockerbie bomber Megrahi, whose location Robertson had discovered earlier in the day in a Tripoli suburb, was faking final illness and further discussion about the depth of impression his head left on the pillow (indicating whether the pillow had been freshly placed under his head or had been there for a while).
Constant loud gunfire was going off in the background. One of CNN’s female Middle East reporters (unfortunately I don’t remember which one, but they all tend to be pretty, bland, and western-looking like Cooper and Robertson, with Arab-sounding first or last names and “mid-Atlantic” accents) said the gunfire was definitely celebratory and not battle-related. I imagined all of the reporters wearlng “fashion” t-shirts in varying shades of gray (gray-blue, gray-brown, gray-black, gray-gray) and I knew I didn’t need to open my eyes to confirm this. I couldn’t discern even slightly their point of view, which side they were on, or supposed I was on. A long time ago I remember hearing an English teacher warn a fellow student away from using the phrase “a strange dream,” but that’s what this was. To the extent it wasn’t, that it was actually occurring, is even stranger.
1. Brice Marden: Dylan Study 2 (1963)
2. Brice Marden: Return 1 (1964-5)