August 9th, 2005

Yesterday was a day filled with melancholy, in which I wished very much to not be in the world, because of stories like this, this, and this. Please note, it’s all horrifying stuff. I wouldn’t blame you a bit for not wanting to know. I didn’t.

Today I feel a bit better, in part because I slipped sideways into Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and vanished from here for a few hours, and in part because of things like this. Discovery landed safely, with a woman commander, how cool is that? And I learned something new, I didn’t know the shuttle got carted around on the back of 747 NASA carrier jet.

What a perplexing, sad and awe inspiring time to be alive.

Also, this is a weird thing that I have no explanation for, but I hope one of my readers can point me to one. There’s an African country that is currently undergoing a starvation catastrophe. Yet another one of those things that has me disheartened because everyone knew this was coming and no one did anything about it. I digress, though. The mystery is when I was young, I learned to say this country name as ‘nI-j&r, but I increasingly hear it pronounced in a more Frenchified way, as nE-‘zher. When did this happen? And why? The other day I actually heard a radio announcer correct themselves from the first pronunciation to the second. What is that about? Anyone know?

I heard this most moving story concerning a woman’s remembrances of the bombing of Hiroshima, sixty years ago last Saturday. There’s four parts to the series, all of which are excellent and worth hearing (though you will need to guard yourself against becoming depressed on listening, if you are at all like me). A day or so after the story that I linked above aired, the station read an angry letter from a guy who was totally outraged that nothing in the piece justified the bomb dropping. This seemed so odd to me. Why would a bombing survivor have any business talking about how great the bombing was? I understand that arguments can be made (though never proven) for a quicker end to the war and therefore a smaller loss of life overall because of the United States’ use of the atomic bomb, but I hardly think it’s appropriate that every article about Hiroshima contain a cheering section for slaughter, regardless of potential justifications. How does that honor the dead and the living? Why would anyone demand that others capitulate their position and abnegate their actual experience in order to praise the actions of their enemies? It’s a bizarre sort of thing to be offended about, to my mind, and I can’t quite fathom it. You can hear the letter for yourself here under the entire program link, at about the 22 minute mark.

I am also concerned about the impending, forced evacuation of Israelis from the settlements in Gaza. I don’t want there to be any violence from any person on any side of this polygonal dispute. It is a courageous move on the part of the Israeli government to publicly cede land and I hope the Palestinians can see that. Turning the military on your own people is always dangerous, always difficult and rarely wise. I hope the settlers can understand this is a move of duress on the part of their government. I will be praying for a peaceful transition in which no one (else) comes to harm.

And that’s today’s newscast through the Anarkey filter.

One last thing, Slacktivist is as insightful as ever, with his piece on the difference between need and greed. Today I bless you, reader, in this way: may you always remember that there is enough, whether you have it when you do or not. Dayenu.

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