Immigration Monday Christmas Hiatus
Let us pause in this endless parade of suffering, hypocrisy, evil, malfeasance, incompetence, boondoggles, violence, murder, shame, idiocy, prejudice, propaganda, crimes, political chicanery, woe, horror, rage, filth, abuse, ugliness, guns, smuggling, rape, environmental degradation, racism, hatred and lies to wish everybody a Merry Christmas. Yahoo! There's happy low-watt solar Xmas lights on the border fence! The Minutemen have Santa hats! The Coyotes are putting toys under every poor child's tree! Rudolph is guiding the Border Patrol with his red nose! The KKK and the Nazis are handing out canycanes! The slavers are serving egg nog to their sexual prisoners! The undocumented are bringing frankincese and myrrh! It's the happiest time of year.

When I set out to post Immigration Monday about ten years ago--oh, wait, it's only been a couple of months--I felt that there needed to be a place you could go to find information. Data to form your own opinions. I still think that's needed. I don't know if I'm the one to do it or not.

I DO NOT LIKE IMMIGRATION STORIES, you see. I don't even find them all that interesting. After all, it is always the same story.

Imagine my utter shock, years after it was published, to be touring like a bar band on The Devil's Highway! To have it chosen over and over as one city/one book choice, or as the all-campus read at colleges! Imagine my shock, with the paperback even a year or two old, to get fresh reviews where some butt-head claims the book is all lies! Imagine my shock that the book sells better each year than the year before--reversing the usual publishing trend. And that people are paying me lots of money to still talk about this stuff. (Yo, my peeps--Across the Wire came out in 1993! I've been talking the talk and walking the walk a really long time.) See the stunned look on my face when Brad Pitt's office expresses interest in filming DH, and my impatience that the alleged film of same is perpetually "about to start shooting."

How come nobody wants me to come talk about Wandering Time of the nature/travel elements of Nobody's Son or the influence of haiku and Tom McGuane on my writing? Ha ha! Immigration. It's in the news. Every time one of those bloviating Mex-haters on cable TV and radio ratchets up the racist jargon to sell more Viagra, the book takes off again.

My family thanks you. The Ford dealership in St. Charles thanks you. Our realtor thanks you.

But I gravitate more toward hope and glory--I'm a sap that way.

If you could see the mulch pile of newspapers in my office, each one with some juicy border tale, you'd shake your head. Wow. Who knew? The border is the Big Story! I thought it might be, oh, terrorism, Iraq, Global Warming, the Patriot Act, the bankruptcy of America, stuff like that. I keep thinking I'll get to the border stack one day. Let us pause here for a rueful laugh.

I don't know whether I'll keep this little blog going, turn it over to somebody else, or what. Maybe I should just make it a full website of its own. Sell ad space and make money. (Immigration Monday Limited Offer! For a Short Time Only, GET Anne Coulter's New Book--Love, Kindness and the Gentle Heart: A Haiku Journey of Healing & Hope!)

I am not even sure anybody reads the blog.

What happens is, I'm supposed to finish my new novel and revise my poems and write a piece for the San Francisco Chronicle and proof read my intro to Rane Arroyo's poems and start Hummingbird's Daughter II and start getting ready to return to the classroom after an insane sled ride of a sabbatical...but I need to peruse the papers for IMMIGRATION stories! I need to surf the web! Check Drudge! Look at all the pinko-liberal fellow traveler sites! See what the mags say! Write to pols/cops/USBP guys/Mejicanos and see what they think!

It has been, I'll admit, revelatory. I could probably get some sort of post-grad degree in Border Boolshat. But, you know, it's more fun to talk about hiking, the garden, buffalo, God, marmots, poetry, buritos, London, Basho, Ed Abbey, the neighborhood wild turley, writing. So, here under the ice in the frozen midwest, I pause to consider what direction to pursue.

Team Urrea will be off-line for a few. Got the usual orgy of presents tomorrow. (Pastor Von tells me that when "Christ" is taken out of Christmas, all that's left is the palabra, "Mas.") Then we're off to Cali to see Eric march in the Rose Bowl. Ah, sun.

I'll leave you one good chunk--the last portion of the London Wastelander series. (If you haven't read the Wastelanders, you can find them scattered throughout the blog archives--chapters one and two of the London trip are back in, gee, August?) Cinderella will post it before we leave.

I hope you have everything come to you that you dream of. I hope you are warm and safe. I hope you have food to eat. I hope someone loves you and shows it. I hope no trucks come to send you away. I hope nobody is hunting you in a desert. I hope you have water to drink.

I hope I have given you a smile, or something to ponder, or some diversion over this last year. Wish I could be there with you in the morning.

If you pray, drop in a line or two for me.

See you in 2008.

Watch out for coyotes--

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