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Wednesday, March 4, 2015


My main computer is still down from the virus, so no new photos until tonight, at the earliest. There are still many images from my 15 hours in Washington. I must have walked 20 miles in DC. After getting on the Greyhound at 4AM, I got back to Philly at 7:25 or so, and from the station, hobbled 1 1/2 mile home because my damn feet hurted so bad. As Yogi Berra would say, I ain't as young as I used to be.

6:18PM update: instead of processing and uploading photos, I've wasted the last day and a half trying to get rid of the virus that's crippled my main computer. When it became infected, I was trying to make a link to the famous photo of a white man in Boston using the American flag as a spear to attack a black man, and I thought of this image because I had photographed a man waving an American flag in a somewhat menacing manner at AIPAC members. At this moment, I have no idea how my computer got messed up exactly. I had AVAST, the free antivirus, and in trying to fix this, I've tried to scan my infected computer, via my USB drive, with Norton, Avast, Kaspersky, AVG, Avira, Windows Defender and several other systems. One of these should have solved it by now. I will keep trying.

From 2003 to 2007 or so, I regularly published poems and articles in Vietnamese, and many of these were overtly political. Somebody who didn't like my Vietnamese writing very much would send me viruses via the email, and I can only assume it was the Vietnamese government, since I know how they work and I've had run-ins with them in Vietnam. What they would do is send me fake emails. Let's say Chuck Orloski's email address is Knowing he's my friend, they would create a fake account . See the difference? By adding _ to the address, it looks almost the same. Thinking I'm getting an email from Chuck, I'd open the attachment and get zapped by a virus. In the body of the email, they'd also compose something to mimic the voice of the purported sender.

Pretending to be, they can use , , , or , etc. Do you remember exactly your best friend's email address? If you don't, then you're liable to open anything that resembles it.

The fake email can go, "Yo Linh, I love your new poem, man! I hit ya back! If you have a moment, do check out my new poem and tell me what you think. Your buddy, Chanh." The "poem," though, is the virus carrying attachment.

The people who were trying to mess up my computer tried several fake email addresses, with one posing as coming from a Vietnamese-American student who admired my work. They kept this stupid game up over several years, but I was never infected.

One time, they hacked into a website and erased one of my articles, but they left a single line. It was something like, "the short guy had an attitude." I was talking about a policeman at the Ojinaga, Presidio border, but they left this as a dig at me.

I'm citing these examples to show you that ANY government that wants to control dissent will employ a lot of people to mess with its critics, and these goons have plenty of time on their hands. My current computer problem most likely has a very banal cause, but then again, you never know, and that's another way they can mess with your head.

OK, I'm hoping everything will be back to normal by tomorrow.



Chuck Olroski said...

Ode to Linh's 15-Hours in D.C.

Iron Dome, world on brink,
Palestine & Scranton in red ink.
Senator McCain hates Code Pink,
Elie Wiesel's not my shrink.
Congress hats in AIPAC's rink,
Clinton's fuck us like mink,
Kathy Kelly's in the clink,
only Persian shit does stink..,
Yo Linh, can you buy me drink?

Linh Dinh said...

While my computer is sick, Chuck,
I feel more than fucked, Chuck,
But it ain't like I myself am mucked up,
Though times like these are reminders
That we all can quickly become remaindered,
And left in the discount bin like stinking flounders.

Linh Dinh said...

Yo Chuck!

When Ali was here, I fed him rice
Or noodles with onion, garlic, asparagus, carrot,
Traces of tomato, but mostly bell pepper, cause
Bell peppers were on sale a month ago, and my
Wife bought the supermarket's entire stock.
Down in Durham, Ali is throwing up clean,
Perfectly formed pieces of bell pepper
Cause he got so sick of them, he couldn't
Even stand to chew them by the end.

P.S. Ali is vegan, by the way. I do eat meat.

Chuck Olroski said...

Ode to the Dinh's bell pepper menu

Stuffed like Jesse the Wrestler,
a vegan knew not what he's in fer!
Linh's aim pure as Aaron Burr,
gastrinal murder by red pepper,
Ali became a commode regular.

Ali said...

Gotta love these!

When I was in Philly, I was fed rice
Or noodles with onion, garlic, asparagus, carrot
Traces of tomato, but mostly bell peppers.
My tongue laughs, at Linh's suggestion,
that it's sick of the bell peppers.
My stomach laughs harder, at Chuck's suggestion,
that the bell peppers might have troubled it.
Used to intense spiciness,
and connoisseur of all things vegetable,
this vegan is pretty happy,
and wants you to be vegan too,
because like Spencer Barton once wrote,
I, too, dream of a world,
that understands that there is no fake pain.

liamc said...

Try Linux. Immune to most viruses, free. Some compatibility issues, a few, but generally satisfactory. I'll never go back to Windows.


About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I lived mostly in the US from 1975 until 2018, but have returned to Vietnam, where I live in remote Ea Kly. I've also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), a novel, Love Like Hate (2010), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), and six collections of poems, with a Collected Poems apparently cancelled by Chax Press from external pressure. I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Japanese, Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in Tokyo, London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.