Though spring has sprung in Deutschland, in the States, the cold weather's unrelenting and winter storms -- for some reason, christened like hurricanes now! -- keep howling and blowing.
Also howling and blowing is western media, every time there's a new "global conflict". Usually so ridiculously narrow and self-interested, reporting breathlessly the "breaking" news of Oscar night parties, celebrity deaths (all too often, self-inflicted) ... and/or imperious, like dolts in a small town, poking fun at perceived foibles: "Sochi problems", for example, or an "inept" investigation (or the opposite: escalating random acts of breathing -- those naturally occurring, every day things we all do because we're supposed to, and most of us are wired that way -- into newsworthy, larger than life acts of "heroism") ...
Where was I?
Oh, right. So usually the media, particularly in the US and UK, is carrying on this way, perpetuating its curious combination of smug isolationism and Big Stick condescension, the whole time relying on unpaid contributors to file "i-reports", in order to fill all the 24/7 content platforms) ... but Vladimir Putin "takes" Crimea, and suddenly, hot.cool.Sochi gets forgotten; the meaningful Paralympics all but ignored, and CNN and the US start clucking, 'What to do about UKRAINE?'.
Geopolitically speaking, the US should have nothing to do with Ukraine. The people of Crimea are speaking, and they seem to prefer not to be part of 'the west'. This (so far) peaceful expression of self-determination should be recognized, in fact, allowed.
Beyond this simple statement of what seems, to me, obvious, I offer no public opinion. My thoughts on politics, like religion and like my home address, telephone number, love and sexual doings that actually matter to me, are private, and will remain that way ... at least until they matter less, and/or I am ready to "share" them.
Does this mean, though, that I can't opine? I don't have a politcal thought, or opinion?
|"Gloaming Looming", ©Jeff Glovsky|
As I was sitting there, pleasantly digging the gloaming, this homeless guy shuffles up to me and says, "Nice night, huh?" He sits down on the brownstone stoop beside me, and offers up something about the second Gulf War ...
Well, I'd always been taught, and took pains to adhere to, the common sense adage about not talking to strangers. I took this literally, and to this day -- fast-tracking to fifty (!) years old -- I struggle with its application. Innately shy, to the point of awkwardness, if not coming across as 'differnt' (as in, 'that boy ain't right!') in most social settings, I was struck even dumber by my new companion's next and final communication.
After commenting about G. Dubya Bush, our troops in Iraq and September 11th -- all still very fresh wounds at the time -- and receiving zero response from me, this homeless guys says, "Man, I thought you were an asshole, but you might just be stupid."
Then sneeringly, he shuffles off.
I go back inside the jazz club, not offended or defensive, but really struck by what the homeless guy just told me: that I was an asshole, but I might also be stupid. I'd never thought of myself as "stupid". Throughout my academic career, with the exception of some shaky punctuation, Geometry in high school and five years of college, it was always the opposite!
But as I made my way back toward my sound booth that night, noticing that not only had the bass solo ended but the first set as well ... that the house lights were on, the stage was empty (though an amp was buzzing) and people were standing up to leave ... it occurred to me the homeless guy was probably right.