It’s not because I find it difficult to get up in the morning (far from it, I’m a light sleeper) but I have spent the last week mostly horizontally. It hasn’t been some extreme, surreal experiment or supreme laziness either; I have to confess it’s not been by choice or much fun. You see, I have hurt my back again. A pinched sciatic nerve here on my lower left back has rendered my in a twilight-supine zone. My usual solution is a 40 minute visit to the chiropractor but alas, this time, I am reliant on pain killers and rest.
Unlike Dali, Yoko Ono, Matisse and the ever resourceful Frida Kahlo (as pictured) who managed to overcome physical and metaphysical barriers in their creative moments, I have been mostly able to read on an iPad in between drifting off into slumber. These snatches of life gleaned from extraordinary moments in the day have meant frequent reading (and re-reading) of online news and an attempt to understand some of the global events taking place. Whereas Kahlo’s extended horizontal periods led to her great explorations of culture and personal identity, I have mostly followed the story of the migrant children in the USA.
Critics from across the political spectrum attacked President Trump’s now-reversed policy of separating children from parents who are being detained for illegally entering the United States. The separations occurred when, under a “zero tolerance” immigration policy, adults are arrested for crossing the border illegally. As children cannot be held in an adult jail, they are currently held separately. At one point this week, it was reported that small infants would be sent to ‘tender age’ shelters, leading the news anchor herself to sob uncontrollably. This horrific practice led to former first ladies (Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton) calling for rapid changes to the law to undo this cruel procedure and the current first lady, Melania Trump appealing to ‘both sides’ (heard that somewhere before). Bizarrely, we had alt-right mouthpiece, Coulter imply the migrant children were actors, saying:
“These child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks 24/7 right now, do not fall for it, Mr President,” – Ann Coulter, Fox News
And apologist Laura Ingraham saying the detainment cages were just ‘summer camps’ anyhow. Not sure I would like to go to this Butlins…
Farcical also that the approved US customs photo shows accompanied children which has not been the practice. It took 48 hours for Trump to perform a U-turn on the policy, apparently as his daughter Ivanka implored him to do so. Pressure from senators, public figures and six American airlines who had told the Trump administration not to use their aircraft to transport child migrants who have been separated from their parents also might have played a small role. After all, if Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest and United airlines all said the policy contravened their values and they would not fly migrant children or allow the Trump regime to fly to Florida to golf at the weekend… oh, yeah he probably would just use Airforce 1.
Last word on this from Harry Leslie Smith, 95 year-old WWII veteran:
I dare #donaldtrump to read my essay in the Independent on the refugee crisis.
“I cannot sit back in good conscience while the world my generation built is left to turn feral in the hands of right-wing populists and indifferent “capitalists https://t.co/6nl57dc8JR
— Harry Leslie Smith (@Harryslaststand) June 21, 2018
Eight artists who made masterpieces in bed, Huck magazine, 24.11.15
Trump migrant separation policy: Children ‘in cages’ in Texas, BBC News, 18.6.18
Child separations: Trump faces extreme backlash from public and his own party, The Guardian, 19.6.18
Ann Coulter tells Trump that immigrant children are ‘child actors’, in …, The Independent, 19.6.18
The Story behind the Trump ‘Time’ Welcome to America Cover, Time magazine, 21.6.18
Trump backs down on migrant family separations policy, BBC News, 21.6.18