Tuesday, September 25, 2012

the man...

A big congrats to 2012 UCI Road Race World Champion, my man-crush, Philippe Gilbert.

(In case you missed it, you can watch a replay of the final 2 km here.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12th

On the day AFTER 9/11 I can't help but remember what to me seemed the worst of the fallout:  The collective anger.  The united hatred.  The bile in mouths of those that screamed for death, wildly (and ignorantly) aiming their fury pistols at anything that reminded even remotely of the boogy-men that rained fire on our cities.

That was a bad place we were in then.  I was disturbed by the attacks.  I was disturbed by the grisly destruction that hit, well, home.  But I was more disturbed by how the red, white, and blue ribbons folks wore became symbols of hate, retribution, revenge...  So much anger.  Blood-lust, really.  And that collective angry scream found its outlet and the gods of war capitalized on our compromised mental state.  Much to our national disgrace.  Much to my personal disappointment.  Liberties have been trodden at home.  Morality cast aside abroad in the name of "security." 

The reaction, not the action, has made the world a less livable place.  I still get sad--scared, really--when I think about the place we were in then.  I hope we can grow out of that.  Mature.  Become more human.  But I've little hope.  I mean, something crazy and tragic happens in a Colorado movie theater (action) and a FB picture of a holstered gun mounted under a car's steering column (reaction) gets tens of thousands of likes.  Face it, kids...we are angry, bigoted, hate-filled, blood-thirsty bastards.  I mean, aren't we?  We give up our humanity for the illusion of security.  Again...  And again...  And again...

Friday, September 7, 2012

two thoughts on politics


The political meme 'Are you better off than you were four years ago?' is such a superficial and thoughtless standard by which to make voting decisions.

How about 'Is the country better off?' Or a Rawls-inspired 'Is the least well off among you better off?'

But even a restructuring of the question frames an election as a superficial economic (and perhaps security) decision. So shallow. Or is that as deep as us proletariat can go?


I hate political lawn signs and bumper stickers (even though we have both, but that's Valerie) because, really, I have to live with my neighbors and want to get along and need to be able to effectively resolve disputes about pooping dogs and stray balls, and frankly I don't want to know who they're voting for because I don't want to think less of them.


On the other hand, I believe (I hope not in a naively optimistic way, but if it is, so be it) that it's SO important that we have passionate political conversations in the communities in which we mingle!

We should know what our neighbors are thinking because they may have really good thoughts. (Or if not good, at least thoughts.) And their thoughts may help us think better. But we won't know those thoughts without inviting them.

We should be able to do all this civilly, arguing rationally and persuasively AND be able to disagree without picking up pitchforks, but of course we won't, always...but if we don't practice that sort of discussion we certainly won't learn how to do it. And of course sometimes it will go badly, because that's the nature of practice. But it's hard to imagine limiting conversation is going to make a better world than we'd have by facilitating conversation. So I think we still have to talk, exactly because we won't always agree, even if the process is sometimes painful...