Back for the Final Sprint

When we catch our breath, I’ll go into detail on how great the South of France was, but then again, most peo­ple already know that it’s a beau­ti­ful, ele­gant and epi­cure­an delight, so I won’t go sprin­kling this blog with any more clichés. Besides, pic­tures are def­i­nite­ly worth a thou­sand words in this case, so if I get about 50 of them up on Flickr then I think our vaca­tion will be bet­ter shown.

The fact that it was so easy to for­get our immi­nent depar­ture from Cam­bridge made Sat­ur­day’s reen­try all the more of a shock (not to men­tion the 95°F heat and the cab had no famous Amer­i­can Air Con­di­tion­ing!). So we’ve thrown our­selves into pack­ing once more. It feels as if it will nev­er get done, and always be in a state of near chaos.

I’m still a bit jet lagged, get­ting up before dawn and near exhaus­tion at this hour (9:30 PM), and I’m a night per­son! So, I’ll make this entry a bit short.

I think I should acknowl­edge the new set of right-wing blog­gers who have dis­cov­ered me. Appar­ent­ly I’m just a man with­out a coun­try, because even Cam­bridge, MA is too Amer­i­can for me. I had no idea that ‘left­ists’ (which I guess, is what I am) had appro­pri­at­ed the term ‘lib­er­al’, and that 9/11 taught us that the left had destroyed the coun­try. There’s more, but just read the com­ments on the pre­vi­ous entry to get the rest of it.

OK, with­out get­ting too much into a debate, the way I see, it, 9/11 was indeed a tragedy. It was an awful, hor­ri­ble, hate­ful thing and the peo­ple behind it are the worst excus­es for human beings the plan­et has pro­duced for a long time. But the big­ger tragedy is that the US pop­u­lace got so scared, so screwed up, that they were will­ing to fol­low any­one who said that they had The Answer and would Make Them Pay for What They Did. The Repub­li­can lead­ers who claimed they knew what to do, in black and white, con­fi­dent and hero­ic lan­guage then took advan­tage of that vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty and gulli­bil­i­ty to drag the coun­try into war with Iraq, which had noth­ing to do with the attack (yes, that’s a fact and we all know it now — only the tru­ly delud­ed dis­pute it) . So it’s a tragedy, but not the kind of tragedy of 9/11. It’s some­thing more far­ci­cal, show­ing how eas­i­ly an une­d­u­cat­ed and irra­tional pop­u­la­tion is per­suad­ed. It’s a tragedy that the coun­try I grew up in just does­n’t exist any more, not because of 9/11, but because of what the shock of those falling tow­ers allowed peo­ple to get away with.

Final thought: I’m think­ing about how to explain that I real­ly do feel as if I’m being forced out of this coun­try. If I stay and fight, I fear even­tu­al­ly that I’ll end up in jail or worse. I’m not con­tem­plat­ing any­thing ille­gal, but these days peo­ple are real­ly get­ting spir­it­ed away in the night, the way it used to be in the old Sovi­et Union. It’s most­ly just peo­ple who have some con­nec­tion to the Mid­dle East, like that poor soul who at one point worked for an Islam­ic char­i­ty that it was revealed had fun­neled funds to the ter­ror­ists.

Let me put it this way. It’s not as if I went off my rock­er and became an under­ground activist. But I feel like a pas­sen­ger in the sub­way car, sit­ting still on the tracks, but the train going by the oppo­site direc­tion is mov­ing with so much force and dom­i­nat­ing the win­dows, so I feel as if I’m drift­ing for­ward (we’ve all felt some­thing like this opti­cal illu­sion at some point in time). So I feel the coun­try lurch fur­ther and fur­ther to the right, and hence, I also feel that my place with­in it is less and less clear. If being Amer­i­can means being ultra-reli­gious, intol­er­ant, arro­gant and waste­ful, then I guess I don’t want to be one of those. Call me crazy.

7 Replies to “Back for the Final Sprint”

  1. LOL! Obvi­ous­ly your trip to France has been invig­o­rat­ing.

    There’s a lot to unpack in your analy­sis of post 9–11 Amer­i­ca. I don’t have the time to address all of it, but the ref­er­ence to peo­ple who have dis­ap­peared in the night is hilar­i­ous. Were you refer­ring to Mr Muntass­er of Logan Fur­ni­ture fame? He was­n’t spir­it­ed away in the night by black heli­copters David, he was arrainged in fed­er­al court for lying to immi­gra­tion offi­cials and the IRS among oth­ers. It’s no dif­fer­ent than our Irish Amer­i­can neigh­bors who used to do fundrais­ing for the IRA 20 years ago. It’s ille­gal!

    I checked with the own­ers of one of my favorite blogs and they have extend­ed an invi­ta­tion for you to do a guest post, per­haps on your expe­ri­ences in France recent­ly. It won’t exact­ly be the warm fuzzy echo cham­ber you are accus­tomed to, but I find most of the posters are civ­il and fair-mind­ed and it is an excel­lent chance for you to demon­strate your com­mit­ment to diverse view­points.
    What’s the worst that can hap­pen? Maybe we’ll talk you into stay­ing?

    Any­ways, check out http://discardedlies.com/ and I hope to see your guest post soon.

  2. Hey papi­joe! Good to see you as always.

    Wel­come back David. Thank you for your acknowl­edge­ment. I’m sor­ry to say that I still haven’t had the chance to read through your entire blog yet. I real­ly should though, should­n’t I? It real­ly isn’t fair for me to judge you based on a bio & a few posts. Per­haps you will take papi­joe up on the invi­ta­tion to post over at DL. Like he already said, most of the posters there will give you a fair shake. Some will give you a bit more than a shake, though I’m sure you can han­dle it. Of course there will be at least one rag­ing lunatic. How­ev­er, I promise that it won’t be me for a change.

    Per­haps you can write about the Amer­i­ca that you grew up in. I’d love to hear about it. If you have already writ­ten about the bliss­ful utopia of your youth, please for­give me as there is still much here that I haven’t dis­cov­ered yet. Sim­ply point the way.

  3. OK guys, as long as peo­ple are civ­il, I’m oblig­ed to be civ­il back.

    To be hon­est, the blog you men­tioned did­n’t real­ly appeal all that much to me — not because of the ‘echo cham­ber’ effect (and aren’t we all occu­py­ing echo cham­bers these days, because it would be near­ly ridicu­lous to say that Fox News is tru­ly ‘Fair and Bal­anced’). What was par­tic­u­lar­ly dis­taste­ful was all the reli­gion. I may have been raised a Jew and was even bar-mitz­va­hed, but my feel­ings on reli­gion these days (Judi­asm, Chris­tian­i­ty, Islam, what-have-you) is that they are cer­tain­ly Not Worth It and I can glad­ly do with­out all of that mythol­o­gy and pious­ness. Maybe I’m miss­ing that God gene thingy, the arrange­ments of thymine and gua­nine that make one see the divine light, but that God stuff just does­n’t do it for me at all.

    I also have no trou­ble with euthana­sia at all, and all of those post­ings about how we let Schi­a­vo die just strike me as utter­ly ridicu­lous and child­ish, espe­cial­ly now that it’s entire­ly clear that she had tru­ly been a veg­etable all of these years. So those post­ings were also high­ly unap­pe­tiz­ing (much as I like veg­eta­bles).

    At any rate, after we get set­tled (and by the way, I doubt we are return­ing, although I’ll always lis­ten to argu­ments for us to recon­sid­er, and nev­er is a long, long time), I’d be intrigued with guest-post­ing at discardedlies.com. As for get­ting a fair shake, that’s what I would expect. Oth­er­wise, I sup­pose I’ll just have to return to the muck and mire of lib­er­al (excuse, me, left­ists — huh, does that make the oth­er side ‘right­ists’?) blogs…

  4. David I don’t get it. Are you say­ing that DL is a reli­gious blog. Per­haps you are con­fus­ing it with mine. One of the edi­tors of Dis­card­ed Lies is an agnos­tic the oth­er is Greek Ortho­dox. The posters there agree on noth­ing, reli­gion espe­cial­ly. Chris­t­ian kooks like me are gra­cious­ly tol­er­at­ed.

    Any­ways the invi­ta­tion was­n’t to read the blog, but do a guest post. Diver­si­ty of view­points, remem­ber?

  5. Good after­noon David,
    I read sev­er­al of your posts as I was enjoy­ing my lunch today.

    Things I’ll miss:
    #6 Liv­ing in the Intel­lec­tu­al Capi­tol of North Amer­i­ca”

    LMAO! I sure hope that you did­n’t design their T‑shirts.

    (Sor­ry… I just could­n’t resist that one)

    BTW, I like the sub­way car anal­o­gy. I still sus­pect that you my be ‘off your rock­er’ though : )

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