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It has been a rough week.

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People are calling for diplomacy before a string of “what ifs” trap us all into WWIII.

Now is one of those times when you should start visiting the news again.

Yes, I know it’s depressing. I don’t know that humans are equipped to live the collective woes of the world every day, or every tenth day, for that matter: It’s overwhelming.

But sometimes you can shut that off a little in order to be informed by the best facts you can get. Just don’t do it for too long because then, you know, you might become like Cheney;

The kind of person who looks a part of the evil. I didn’t know that was entirely so possible outside of fiction and Lord Voldemort.

Volde’s hotter though.

I won’t tell you what would happen if I were writing that story, because that would so give away some of the ways I take on the monomyth.

Unlike mythology, however, when I look at foreign policies and the world I realize that I have more to learn than I can imagine. This is why I am thankful for ladies and gents who are smarter and more informed than I am. Such as Matthew Good. (Have recently connected to his site. Thanks, Dave.) I like the editorial and discussion there, so go meet Matthew Good the activist-artist.

Some individuals are of the opinion that artists shouldn’t say anything political. Too bad Bruce nailed it.

Have you noticed that there exist many people who are afraid to have serious, relevant opinions? Maybe because the world seems/is big and there’s much to understand and to know, often made more complicated in order to confuse us out of knowing. I figure if you can learn all the nuances of NFL football strategy, then you can handle learning the game of global risk. So yes please feel OK to think about things and say them out loud so that we can all learn one another up real good and put the knowledge resulting from discussion into our muscle memory just like when we learn how to throw a sweet spiral.

Again.

I look at that map to memorize the geography so that I can quick mind-reference-zoom in my head since every speech and article now says things about those towns and bridges and borders. Jerusalem.

Jerusalem.

Jerusalem has always been a word that sounded nice in my ears, even when I knew even less about it than I do now. The pastor of the church my family attends in VA journeyed to Jerusalem with his wife (also a pastor) when I was in middle school. They brought me back a tiny dove carved out of something pearly white. He retired this year. (The pastor, not the dove.)

Although I don’t go to church much now that M.Sto can’t make me get up all early and I moved, it will be hard ever to go again because that pastor is like Santa (rosy cheeks and all,) if Santa were also a philosopher, a scholar and the epitome of the three abiding. He taught three of us kids all about comparative religions by taking us to different churches. I was so-so on this idea in middle school until we went to temple and cathedrals and secretly I kind of liked it a great deal. Then we’d go out for pancakes.

I realize now that that was a rare experience. (The churches. And the pancakes.)

Because the pancakes were wicked good and intolerance never crossed our minds and he didn’t even have to do any preaching or lecturing to make that happen.

I mean come on forever ago even Tupac said,
We gotta make a change...
It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes.
Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live
And let's change the way we treat each other.
You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do
What we gotta do, to survive.

And still I see no changes. Can't a brother get a little peace?
There's war on the streets and the war in the Middle East.
Instead of war on poverty,
They got a war on drugs so the police can bother me
And I ain't never did a crime I ain't have to do
But now I'm back with the facts givin' 'em back to you.


When 2Pac talked about social shit in songs and I got my hands on said songs, I listened. That was the first time I remember hearing about the “war in the Middle East” in a way that made me think I was missing something. But you know I also like California Love and I Get Around, so it hasn’t always been serious between me and Pac.

What I'm getting at is that we're inheriting stuff from before we were born:

That is the point of that song We Didn’t Start the Fire, which my 7th grade Social Studies teacher formed a lesson around. I liked it because I like fast-talking songs: That’s a challenge I can handle.

The “cola wars” always hit me the hardest.

I still remember learning the Gettysburg address that year, too. I should note that I never forgot that speech. (We had to recite it in front of the class.) I found that more interesting than learning the preamble, so I never learned the preamble really and I forgot it aside from the parts that are said all the time, but the GA I still know word for word from 7th grade. I also promptly forgot the pledge of allegiance. Some students had a problem with the pledge, I recall, and were vocalizing and thus told they didn’t have to say the words, but still had to stand. I was like whatever who cares and mumbled it through my strawberry nutrigrain bar and attempts at finishing my math homework that was due in five. When I think about reciting the pledge now, however, I shiver that we said it so routinely without ever thinking about why or discussing so in an academic sense despite the fact that we were in a school.

Of course it might be un-American to understand our traditions in an intellectual manner. Not sure.

Reciting the Gettysburg Address in front of the class was less useful than understanding what it meant, too. Fortunately it’s not math, and I liked the speech, so I was able to figure that one out on my own. So some things we learned and never analyzed. One thing we did analyze was We Didn’t Start the Fire. Ms. Sharfe must have thought music was more relevant to 7th graders than Lincoln and the Pledge.

All of this makes me want to go somewhere like this to sit on a rock and think until I realize why I have to come back.

So then I started thinking about Antarctica and how a screenwriter I know who would be classified as a conspiracy theorist told me that there is a theory that Atlantis is Antarctica because an old topographical map drawn of Atlantis aligns exactly with the “what lands lie under the ice” map we have of Antarctica.

Perhaps only Plato can recall if that’s true (he’s dead). All that talk about Atlantarctica brought the realization that I don’t know anything about Antarctica. (There’s not really time for that or North America in U.S. World Geography classes.) Anyway, did you know that countries already have that frozen place sliced up into who owns what? Here is what else I learned: A lot of people on the Internet spell Antarctica “Antartica.” I am curious about going on an adventure there. But also scared. But also curious.

Artic seas are deep and dark and all that ice…

Once I saw a polar bear on all that ice on a nature program when I was little and it seemed like such a desolate place that I didn’t belong. I mean the sea was navy and the ice was flawless and the sky was an unnatural shade of empty, which reminds me that I was also scared when I went to another desert for the first time, but it quickly wore off into wonder.

Artic sea-places, the deep under-sea and space…

Those scare me the most. But now I am curious about visiting Antarctica in the summer. (Wikipedia will do that to you at 3:00 AM.)

I should probably subscribe to NatGeo.

Because I’m committed to showing you the best of this world, and others.

We could go here.

But there are levels required to do that. So it won’t all be the best places: Some of it will be low and dark.

And, you know, out of all the times there are times for, dark and light, the one “time for” I have the most trouble in figuring when,

Is when to fight.

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