Sunday, August 3, 2008

Who You Think You Are



We want to believe.  It's in the blood.  Whether it is a way to confirm what we desire but fear might not be, or whether it's completely unconscious, people will believe, because they need to believe.
     We need Barak Obama to be everything George W. is not.  Not as easy as it seems.  Certainly this Democrat is and will not be beholden to any corporate agenda.  Or is he?  He's already changed his position on off-shore oil drilling.  He'll command respect from our adversaries just because he's so different.  He's articulate for starters.  He's young, willing to listen to all sides of an issue, apparently free of scandal, and thinks deeply.  He's promise personified.  It's almost as if we would wish all things wronged in the last decade to be right simply with his election.  We want to believe.  It beats the alternative.  It works for gossip, for religion, for palm reading, and for astrology.  It is because we want it to be.
     When Big Bown hit the track today, the air cleared.  We wanted to believe, again.  I sensed the ghost of Seabiscuit.  He got thrashed and knocked around on a number of occasions, but always came back.  Maybe Big Brown will have that kind of career.  He sure won ugly today.  Seabiscuit would have loved the race.  He knew something about digging in, gutting it out and getting the head down in the shadow of the wire.  Big Brown didn't look anything like Secetariat today.  Maybe tomorrow.
     A final thought:  That the Bush administration did not face impeachment is significant.  Apparently, most folks want to believe that it hasn't been as bad as it has.  I can't imagine what any future administration would have to do to fear impeachment.  Oh yeah, that.  I think it'll be a good while before knee pads invade the oval office.  
II
Say good-bye to an old friend.  The newspaper.  They are disappearing fast.  Unless we figure out a way to re-invent, they don't seem to have a chance.  Like the frequency of student trips to the library, not the virtual library, the newspaper has all but outlived it's function.  They make good wrapping paper, don't they?
     Here's a profundity that came from a recent pub outing with my friend and fellow writer Cameron.  Think about the difference between reading book pages and scanning web sites for information. Web pages are often dubious in their validity and content.  Books, at least most, invite time.  Time to read further, consider publication date, resources, acknowledgments, and bios.  Web pages ARE lighter though.  Don't do damage to the hips, (I've carried lots of books in my time) but just don't cut it when it comes to tactile satisfaction.  I certainly don't want to go back.  I love that everything that ever was is available on line.  I'm seldom disappointed, often astonished.  Yet, my jury is still out.  Guess when it comes to research, I want to hold what I believe.  Like James Baldwin once said:  If I am not who you think I am, then you are not who you think you are.

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