October 9, 2021 Newsletter
With spirits suspended and movements restricted, our forced subjugation to the Covid pandemic is growing weary. Like a black molasses night when only the first light of morning offers relief from our long sour sticky dream. Those who hang tenaciously to authority insist that morning has not yet broken. That we must remain afraid, covered, and distant. That until a respiratory virus is completely defeated, we cannot go about our play or business. There's just one problem with that utopian fantasy- never has a global occurrence of a respiratory virus ever been vanquished.
A year and a half is a long time ago. A few remember the illusions of '10 days to flatten the curve.' Then came the promise that a vaccine would free us but until then, wear the mask to prevent the next wave. 'Contact tracing' would put the tentacled bastard back in the bottle. Follow the science but only from those with permission from social media, political elites, and politicians who belong to the right tribe. One mask is not enough so layer up. One vaccine is not enough so booster up. That was three waves ago. When is this lunacy going to end?
You and I are not the only ones having doubts about where this is heading. New York Times Science Columnist, John Tierney, has been asking the same questions. He looks into some possible motivations why policymakers are resisting the morning. His essay is an important read. Read it here.
Eventually, morning will break. Unfortunately, a complete analysis of our global nightmare may never be offered- the contradictions just too perplexing. If the source of our collective nightmare turns to be a science experiment gone awry- leaked and then quickly swept bye-bye, then what do we follow? Who do we trust?
[The picture above is of Mt. Baker taken from Lynden, Washington the early morning of October 8, 2021. Morning Has Broken.]
“Of all crimes that human creatures are capable of committing, the most horrid and unnatural is ingratitude.” –David Hume
It can be a special moment stumbling upon an old school teacher. And if that teacher was someone who made a difference in your life, the resulting conversation is an opportunity to express much-deserved gratitude. Such was the circumstance when I ran into an old high school science teacher recently. The act, or art if you will, of expressing gratitude appears to be in decline. At least that is what a California Teacher of the Year recipient thinks. Jeremy Adams writes, "I worry not that my own world may be crumbling, not that civilization’s decline may be imminent, but that unless the younger generation learns the virtue of gratitude, they will not find joy in life. They will not believe the world is, to quote Hemingway, “a fine place and worth fighting for.” Read Mr. Adam's essay here.
My mother believed 'gratitude' was something you practiced. That is was not a natural condition but came about from a sense that we are owed little. That when someone goes the extra distance to show consideration or care, that is truly a gift to be grateful for. Remember to thank those who do.
Going to space used to be a dignified stately affair. The state would take taxpayer money and encourage a room full of smart people with slide rules to do something daring. Risking life and limb, a couple of well-trained specimens would take flight as we would all hold our collective breath. We'd exhale when we saw the splashdown in dull black and white.
Today, billionaires have the resources to go anywhere. With egos the size of Texas and wearing cowboy hats and video cameras, they strap into shiny metal barrels and hurtle to the edge of gravity and back. The camera records a slick promotional video to sell future seats to others at some millions of dollars a pop. Save your money!
Author and Detroit Free Press columnist, Mitch Albom thought it all a bit curious if not a bit humorous. There is something chuckle-worthy knowing someone paid 28 million dollars for a few minutes of weightlessness. Read here.
A secular Jew, astrology, and a set of collective metaphors. What does it mean when we claim to 'believe in something?' Sam Kriss, of London, thinks about those sort of things and has written a most thought-provoking essay- if you have time. But only if you have time. Read here.
Climate Preachers and Youth Crusaders
Youth climate preacher, Greta Thunberg, recently scolded global leaders again for not taking the imminent destruction of our earth due to climate change seriously enough.
It was just a year ago that she appeared on the global stage to rip into world leaders at the UN. From that experience, I wrote an essay titled 'Climate Preachers and Youth Crusaders.'
Youthful warriors, preachers, and crusaders possibly look up at the sun and think that all is new. Urged on by adults with adult agendas, they lead the charge to fix the ills of injustice, believing their notions and ideas are fresh and without precedent.
With passion and exuberance, they vow to change the world. The ancient cliché that ‘nothing is new under the sun’ escapes them. That’s the disadvantage of having little interest in history or little actual experience. The idea that the ‘sun’ has seen it all comes from philosopher Solomon and found in Ecclesiastes 1:9, where he wrote, “No thing under the sun is new.”
Even our apparent antipathy towards history today is not new. The sun has seen many violent dismantlings of historical symbols. In Russia, the Marxists burned down thousands of churches with symbolic crosses atop to be replaced by the red sickle. Down came the statues and artifacts because the historical figure represented an idea found inimical today, or it came down because, historically naïve, the mob thinks it should. In some cases today, the blackened bronze statues come crashing down because it was that of a white pigmented man — nothing more and nothing less. Read more.
Where Is This?
Hint: You can't actually stumble here, but one could arrive by paddleboat. Once there, not a single eco-friendly electric car is allowed. Where is it?