Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Wed Sep 3 23:27:55 2003
Monthly Totemage

I just got back from my monthly trip to timbuktu, where I made my regular offering to Landlordus, the god of the land. On the way out there, I talked with a friend who I haven't spoken to for a bit. Good to keep ties alive, even if by cell. One thing that struck me is that, unlike me, this friend says things in the heat of passion that might not always be meant. Actually, most people do. I'm always careful not to -- I might mock, or be flippant, but I never twist the truth or misrepresent myself. More people need to learn this. I don't know if this means that a blanket "It's OK" should be applied when they say something offensive or not. That's always a dilemma -- you can't both be nice and legitimize a behavior. In politics, this is known as saying "You can't do only one thing". Look at applied game theory.....

Some time ago, I was accused by another friend of being anti-american, and it was said that I hate america. Bear with me while I chew on the idea, and perhaps enjoy some unrelated spices on the topic. I don't really care one way or the other if I'm anti-american or not -- I have no special loyalty to the united states, or any other nation. I hold a lot against it, in history as in now, but I think little more than other 'civilized' countries. Do I judge it on a different scale than how I judge Iraq/Saddam? Well, maybe -- What I react against when talking about Saddam, or perhaps Castro, is that people act as if he's completely insane, and has no reasons for what he's doing. They drastically overstate their case, and make no effort to learn the truth of things. What I don't typically say, because I (perhaps wrongly) think it's obvious, is that I'd far rather live in a western country than a warlord-ruled one, or in a state resembling that of Iraq. Now, as to a second question, is it true that I judge the U.S. more harshly than other nations? Well, maybe I do, and I might think of two reason why I might -- firstly, all the stuff is closer to me, making it easier to get data, understand it, and making my voice somewhat louder on the topic when I'm here. Secondly, I guess I might see it as my duty to fight nationalism, in myself and others, so I make a special effort to shatter any type of warm fuzzies people get about the United States. Again though, that being said, it's certainly easy to do worse than the United States. I see a lot of room for improvement, and in many areas, if we look around, we'll see countries surpassing the U.S. in areas. I'm not going to be lame and say that overall the U.S. is better, sorry :) I imagine we could imagine the world as a classroom, and, for maximal arrogance, me as the teacher (or judge). There are lots of countries in this classroom, and the U.S. has some areas where it's good, and some areas where it needs some (or a lot) of improvement. It's not my favorite pupil -- I'm more attached to my ideals than to any individual nations. What I want to do is see the best features of nations, and hope, provided they're compatible, they could be mixed together into a single system. Bad things should be wiped out. I guess sometimes I might attempt to compensate for posturing the U.S. does too -- in the metaphor, this student would claim it's better than all the others, and use bribes and stuff to assert dominance. I want to see an end to that. But no, I don't think I hate america, I just have a lot of issues with it, just as I have issues with some other countries, while I strive to understand that there are often situations where simple solutions are not acceptable or don't work.

To be cryptic, I'm again metaphorically playing a game of cards, carefully shaking the lines of the web on which I walk, trying to summon the spider, not to where I am, but to where I want it to go. It's a delicate art, and a delightful game. How can you do what I do without letting out a laugh as you feel the strings reverbrate. Maybe I'll make a mistake, maybe a big one, or maybe I'll do what I want and win. Heck, maybe I don't even know what I want, but like playing the game too much to care. It's all Improv, and so am I.

In the mood for research? There's a woman in the Daler Mehndi video "Jalwa", who's really amazingly beautiful. I'm not entirely sure of her ethnicity though -- she looks like she might be part-Arab part-Hindi, or perhaps something else. If you're bored, try to find her name and ethnicity.

Mmm... indian-cooked tofu rocks.