Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Any given Tuesday

I once thought I lived in a period of time where everyone had lost their mind. People on the street. People in Office. Celebrities, commoners, clergy. The news was filled with recklessness, mutilation, infidelity, suicide. The pictures were damning. And I watched everything. Each scandal stranger, another life ruined; marriages, careers, reputations irrevocably lost.

Then one night I went to sleep, and the following day I awoke. And all around me I saw that what had the previous night seemed a shell of a life - destitute, depraved – now stared back at me healthy, happy. Color pictures of people in the sun.

And my heart sank. This wasn’t triumph over adversity, or the resilience of the human spirit. This was a past with no meaning, this was everything mutable. I don’t know if I can distinguish between hopefulness and desperation.

Work that day was pretty good. I had a nice sandwich for lunch, which I made myself (who says we don’t manufacture anything anymore?), and a granola bar. I was productive, and even used the word “roger” in a joshing way, but one that kind of made me wish I was an air traffic controller, or perhaps a fighter pilot.

So, it’s six of one, isn’t it? And then there’s a half dozen of another.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

thoughts on current global politics

Like a lot of people, I have been reading about the political and social unrest across North Africa and Arabia. Also, I've seen a lot of photos both in the newspapers and on the internet. Two things occur to me in reading about these heady days. First of all, who knew North Africa was such a scarf culture? When I was in Poland, I noticed a certain mustache culture, both in the flesh on the streets and hewed into stone in monuments. But I wasn't surprised. We're all familiar with the stock character of the Polish plumber with his walrus mustache. But I didn't know every young man in North Africa wore jeans, dark jackets, and scarves thrown nonchalantly around their necks. There have been a number of good examples in the press, and I can't find my favorite, but this should give you an idea:

And this brings me to my second point. I realize people are worried about what happens next. What role will Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood play? Will these countries transition into democracy, or will they descend into chaos, paving the way for more dangerous autocratic regimes? But what people aren't talking about, and don't seem to be concerned about, is what if these countries are simply hijacked by these scarf wearing doofuses?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Holy shit! Secrets and Lies is a damn good movie! And all these years I thought it was about something else somehow.