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Archive for July, 2012

Rock ‘n’ Roll Britannia

July 29, 2012 2 comments

I was going to share some thoughts on gun control laws but that would ruin the excellent mood I find myself in after watching the opening of the Olympic games in London. Danny Boyle’s messy and flamboyant show had the right mix of everything that makes Britain Britain. Now, I’m aware that any number of esprit chagrins, as the French call them–the mean-spirited and the dour–detest Britain with a passion. Not least in the part of the world I come from—the Middle East—and my country of origin, Iran. Britain is the greatest Satan, the source of all our ills, the evil power that has thrown us into perpetual victimhood, and “blame it on the British” is almost a more common mantra than allah-o-akbar.

What have the British done to earn this scorn? Along with the French, they divvied up the Middle East and drew artificial frontiers, creating, to a certain extent, the mess that continues in that part of the world–although, given my fellow Middle Easterners’ world vision, I would trust them to create misery for themselves and others even without outside help. Also, and we chalk this up to their innumerable sins, the British have always put their own interests first. Well, surprise, this is what governments do. I’ve yet to hear of one altruist enough or benevolent enough to put the interests of other countries before its own. Read more…

Can it get any worse?

July 22, 2012 3 comments

The other day, my pessimist friend was whining, “It can’t get any worse, it can’t get any worse!” My optimist friend responded with a wide grin, “Sure it can.”

So it can.

I may be the least gifted of students when it comes to learning, including from experience, but I guess I’m beginning to draw some lessons from our world. Such as understanding that we should enjoy what we have, that some months or years from now, we’ll look back and be nostalgic for what may seem unpleasant or even unbearable today. I’m not saying that we’ll look back fondly on the awful Assad’s willful murder of 19,000 Syrians, or on the sweet kids in Aurora, Colorado, thrilled to be among the first to see the new Batman movie and ending up in a morgue, mowed down by yet another deranged cretin (good job, NRA!) or upon our own dim prospects as we teeter daily on the brink of utter moral, financial, and professional ruin.No, a hundred times no! Read more…

With a kvetch-kvetch here and a kvetch-kvetch there, here kvetch, there kvetch, everywhere kvetch-kvetch…

July 14, 2012 6 comments

Everyone is constantly complaining. People complain about the economy (“it’s broke and ain’t nobody gonna fix it,” “the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer,” “blame it on the one percent,” “blame it on outsourcing”); about the world, ( “blame it on extremism,” “on poverty,” “on little green men,” better yet, “blame it on America”); about personal problems, (“My finances are so bad, you wouldn’t believe it,” “my back is killing me,” “I’m swamped,” “I’m tired,” “I don’t sleep well,”); about national problems (“the country is going to the dogs,” “Romama, Omney, same difference,”); about society (“service is going to the dogs,” “people are becoming ruder and ruder,”); about relations, (“my daughter ran away and joined the circus,” “my husband left me for a woman half my age,” “I’m the only one looking after my elderly parents”); and so on and so forth. And you better not initiate the complaining unless you want to hear, “You think you’ve got problems?” Read more…

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