The good news is my blogger friends have been sending me e-mails about options for my back should the current course of treatment fail. The bad news is, one of the causes of bad backs in our culture, it would seem, stems from the storing of anger and frustration - even depression. This from a friend who is an anthropologist. That being the case I should quit reading the newspapers, quit watching the news and the talking heads - and probably quit blogging. I don't know how else to rid myself of the angst.
It's Sunday. The news has been full of the ever expanding conflicts in the Middle East. It seems ironic to me that this hot bed of hatred for one another, as well as the rest of the world, is so deeply rooted in the part of the world where not only these religions but civilization itself took form. The hatreds run so deep in large part because of outside influences; Western countries - mostly the U.S. and Great Britain trying to impose their will on cultures they little understood. Nor do they today. The Muslim communities had land taken from them to form the Jewish state. Scores of people, who had lived in the territory since the beginning of civilization, were displaced because the Jewish state wouldn't have them. Didn't sit too well. Now we have two factions who hate one another, the Sunni Hamas and the Shiia Hezbollah, allied to, in their minds, protect themselves from the Israelies and the Great Satan. Read U.S.
Nothing changes. Not just over the years - but centuries! The quote from King Lear holds true "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Perhaps we need to do a better job of teaching it. Or give potential office holders a proficiency test. What is it about our collective psyches that allows our egos to run so destructively rampant in the quest to impose our will? I have an acquaintance who lives pretty much in the "here and now". We've had some interesting conversations about our "them against us" mentality - even in our science fiction where one might hope for the unknown to be benevolent and loving rather than monsters driven to conquer. A bit of role reversal perhaps?
If anything will depress you it should be Newt Gingrich's pronouncement this morning on "Meet the Press" that this is indeed World War III.
Look at the two maps. The first shows the scope of the Muslim world today. The second depicts how many westerners perceive that world. Study them. Think about it. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World. And, boy, does my back hurt!