Monday, April 16, 2007

Ugly Americans

The last weekend of North Carolina was a mixed bag. Saturday was great. We kicked ass. Good crowds, Midas touch. Then Sunday hit. Torrential rain during the night and on and off during the day. No one shows up. They call the show at 12:30.

Then the sun comes out. Of course.

But it doesn't matter. We break down, load out and get on the road early enough to get home last night. We had to fight our way through snowstorms in the mountains. This was Snow Giant country and the wind pushed us all over the road. But we made it. It feels good to sleep in ones own bed.

During the trip we listened to 'Babylon by Bus'. This is the true story of two slackers who's primary occupation was selling 'Yankee's Suck' t-shirts in New York to earn enough money to travel. At some point, they got it in their bright heads to go to Baghdad and try their hand at humanitarian work the CPA (The Coalition Provisional Authority). What follows is a strange tale of good intentions gone wrong, stupidity, drugs, booze, hope, violence, despair and death.

There are a number of books examining the War, but this one provides a unique ground level view from outside the system. It is Baghdad as seen through the eyes of 2 twenty-eight year olds. Not soldiers or politicians or reporters. What's more, these aren't peacenicks or hippies or experienced volunteers. They are in short, ugly Americans with a tendency to be assholes.

I highly encourage you to check out this book. It can be found used on or on audio CD from your local library.