Archive for January, 2008

Bloggus Interruptus Part 2: A Discarded Korea Herald

Last Friday I found a discarded Korea Herald abandoned atop a trash receptacle. I have gotten out of the habit of reading a daily paper, but I decided to see what I might have been missing.

I stopped reading newspapers around March of 2003, and I haven’t read one regularly since. I stopped reading them for several reasons, but mostly because they were purveyors of lies.

I use the word “purveyor” deliberately, because I am not accusing the media of fictionalizing the news. They were not responsible for manufacturing the lies; however, they were responsible for distributing them.

The Fourth Estate failed in its duty; that is, the press has the explicit capacity to advocate and frame political issues. In the aftermath of 9/11 and the lead up to the War in Iraq the media certainly failed to analyze and frame the issues; instead they let the Bush administration “wag the dog.” They accepted at face value the fictions they were fed.

Interestingly Friday’s Korea Herald suggested that there may still be hope for the Fourth Estate. Perhaps the dust which blinded the press or the corporate elites which kept the media from doing their duty has cleared. Several articles seemed offer something more substantial than White House propaganda.

The head lines that caught my eyes were:

  • Berenanke Spooked by Specter of Deflation
  • Market Bloodbath Highlights Cracks in Capitalism
  • Asia’s Monetary Quandary Deepens on Fed Rate Cut
  • US Foresees $250 Billion Federal Budget Deficit
  • US Still Wrong in Afghanistan

Maybe they slip all the “real news” into the Friday paper, because they know that is the one of the least read papers of the week; maybe its because I was reading a foreign rather than an American new source (although two of the five articles were attributed to AP and Reuters); or maybe the news media is beginning to realize that they really have a job to do.

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Bloggus Interruptus: So much to say, so little time to say it!

Since getting this blog up and running on Janurary 21st, there have been numerous topics on which I have wanted to pontificate; for example:

  • My inability to avoid remembering the 80s. Is the same for the baby boomers and their coming of age decade the mid 60s and early 70s?
  • Musings on Reaganomics and Bushanomics and the ineffectiveness of tax cuts
  • Iraq Body Count vs. Lancet II – What THE large numbers really mean

I have, on several occasions, even begun the process of codifying these ideas into writing, but seemingly I have always been interrupted by life.

Work seems to be the biggest offender. It tends to sap the largest amount of possible blogging time from me. House chores come in a distant second with sleep coming in a close third.

In terms of duration, I suppose sleep is technically second, but it gets a handicap since it is a PHYSICAL need. Family has been excluded from consideration since I enjoy it more than blogging. Perhaps I’m not as misanthropic as I pretend to be.

If life leaves me alone for a while I hope to return to some of these topics and others; however, for life to truly leave me alone I would need to be dead and, as the saying goes: Dead men tell no tales and by corollary they write no blogs.

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Passing Away of Anna’s Aunt

Anna’s Aunt passed away. Although it wasn’t unexpected, it was sudden. She was terminally ill, but we had gone to see her only two weeks ago and though she was bed ridden, she had been awake, aware, and quite amiable. It was her good humor, I suppose, which made her death yesterday so sudden.

Her acceptance of her Fate reminded me of Clay, my housemate at Indiana University. He too faced death with a certain amount of panache. He was only a few days into his junior year at Indiana University when he found out that his leukemia had come out of remission. Scott, Dan and I were shocked, because none of us had been aware that he had fought leukemia before; not once but twice. He shrugged off the announcement and told us that since he had beaten it before he was certain he could do it again.

Six weeks of intensive and invasive treatment failed to stem the advancement of the disease and then he learned that only a bone marrow transplant could save him. Clay no longer looked like the healthy Indiana farm boy that we had known. He had lost his hair and the steroids that the doctor had pumped him full of had given his body a bloated and swollen look. Yet, he remained confident. He was sure that the doctors would find a donor.

The doctors searched, but neither his immediate friends and family nor his extended Indiana University family produced a matching donor, yet Clay accepted his Fate. His mother and his two older sisters wanted him to return to the farm where he had been raised, but Clay asked us if he could stay with us. He said that if he returned to the farm to be with his sisters and his mother he would be babied day in and day out. They wouldn’t let him live. He, of course, reminded us that all he wanted to do was live, but that he didn’t have much time remaining. We didn’t refuse his request; how could we!

Living with the terminally ill is difficult and stressful. Academically this year was a write off for me and it continued to adversely affect me several years later, but in terms of what it taught me about life and death, it’s a lesson and a memory I wouldn’t want removed. For example, there is Clay’s legendary 21st birthday. It was mid-October and Clay was looking and feeling better. His chemotherapy had ceased, but his doctors had continued with his steroid treatments. Consequently, Clay was feeling quite FULL of life, and he took full advantage of his vigor.

Clay had always been somewhat of a womanizer. He was fine physical specimen: blonde hair, fair eyes and sculptured look. He also had a certain seeming naivety and a wholesomeness that came from his rural roots. But most importantly he was comfortable around woman and women were comfortable around him. Since his father had died when he was very young, Clay was raised by his mother and two older sisters. Clay always had girl friends, but on his 21st birthday he had ALL his girlfriends both past and present. I guess it was his way of saying goodbye. For Scott, Dan and I we simply bowed before our god; he was the embodiment of every male collegian’s dreams; he was Don Juan incarnate; he was Eros – yet he was also terminally ill.

Like with Anna’s Aunt, Clay passed away at night. It was towards the end of January; I got up, went into the living room and found him on the couch. He had died with the TV on. I think it was MTV, but this might just be wishful thinking; a hope that he was still rocking on.

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Hello world!

Let it snow. Let it Snow. Let it snow.

Yes it took me several attempts to get the blog up and running on my own site, but I finally managed to figure it out.

So let us begin.

Monday, January 21st, 2008