I woke up today to the morning news, and war, and anthrax, and ‘NSync (what an unholy triad), and it just reaffirmed my decision to never television, unless it’s “The Simpsons” or “Star Trek.” But I have been living in an information vacuum for the past week or so. (For jury selection, they should call upon med students just finishing up finals… I swear we have absolutely no idea of what’s going on in the outside world.)
Last night my sister and I had an impromptu conversation about Marxism, neoclassical economic theories, and the commoditization of everything (which was a welcome break from caseous necrosis and small, round, blue cell tumors). And some theology: Do economists have souls? It really got me wondering.
#Random snippets from the L.A. Times:
This hyping up of the war is starting to disturb me to no end. In all honesty, I do consider myself to be patriotic, in my own fashion, but the news coverage makes me think of the one-minute hates featured in 1984. Are we really supposed to be mindlessly obedient? Of course, it does make it easier to forget that we have our own wars on the domestic front, and I’m not talking about fugitive members of Al Qaeda in the U.S, or Timothy McVeigh wannabes. When juxtaposed with the bombing of Afghanistan, the struggles in the inner city really do begin to resemble that of an occupied Third World country. I wonder if someday the external war and the internal war will start coinciding, and one day we’ll finally wake up and realize how tenuous our society is. (And maybe, just maybe, we’ll realize that we can actually fix some of these problems, that some inequalities are not intrinsic, and maybe we can all just get along, and even if we don’t, maybe we can at least realize that we don’t have to resort to killing each other. Of course, people get nailed to trees for saying this kind of shit out loud.) Then again, the dispassionate, soulless biologist in me makes me wonder if war is not just natural selection doing its thing.
And finally, is this not damning proof that to the outside world, Filipino culture consists only of cultural dance? We need to let go of the 1950s, people.
Then I thought I’d end with the beginning of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
This planet has—or rather had—a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches….
And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small cafe in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.
Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, a terrible, stupid catastrophe occurred, and the idea was lost for ever….