mad in pursuit journal
3.25.04 Of Ants & the President's Men
I'm battling ants again.
About 2 months ago, in the bitterest week of January, big ants invaded the kitchen. A couple dozen zoomed around the kitchen sink and found a cozy cave in my coffee maker. I found the hole they were coming through -- a gouge high in the wall where some long defunct curtain rods were attached. I spackled over the hole, bought fresh bait motels, and waited for them to fade away.
With our hint of spring, they are back. Don't know where they are coming from, but they are on the kitchen counter and window sill above the sink.
I was prepared with a new remedy called "Revenge." With bait motels, the ants disappear inside. With Revenge, you drip some goo on a little cardboard square and put it in their path.
The ants love it! But eeeeeooowwwww.... About 10 of them at any given time are standing there sucking up the sweet juice. Then they run around like drunks. The idea is that they are supposed to go back to their headquarters, die, and poison their cannibalistic friends. So you have to resist the urge to just start smashing them. When I'm not totally creeped out, I feel like I'm running a miniature wildlife preserve. Tiny little hippos gathering around the weensy watering holes. Heaven help me.
My "McDonalds" project allowed me to listen to a few hours of the 911 hearings. It is interesting to hear some discussion that isn't full of exaggerated campaign rhetoric.
It is also interesting to contrast the careful and nuanced testimony with the news hour sound bites. The newsmen see all the drama and play up every possible conflict and contradiction. I thought Clarke did a particularly good job of explaining why there might be a difference between his book and various official memos he wrote as a Special Assistant to the President. If your boss wants you to write up something that shows him in a good light, either you do the best you can without outright lying or you probably need to say "bye-bye." Like any job, there are times when the team has to argue out their various perspectives and times (especially when the shit hits the fan) when everyone has to sing from the same hymnal, despite their misgivings.