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.