Home > Daily life, International politics > A break from the tumult

A break from the tumult

What should the new post be about? Chavez? Nah…I don’t know anything about the man or about Venezuela orZed dans train 090912 even about Latin America. To paraphrase famously brainy Dan Quayle—remember him?–I don’t even speak Latin. After two days of enduring the torrents of words and images hurtling through the ether about el comandante, assessments from both grieving followers and ecstatic foes and op-eds from experts and analysts and mixed reactions from world leaders, boredom is setting in and I no longer feel like weighing the “yes, buts” and the “on the other hands.” As in, Chavez was a populist and a socialist but his rogue buddies—Assad of Syria, Ahmadinejad of Iran, the late-and-little-lamented Qaddafi of Libya—spoil the picture. As in, he was brought to power by popular vote, including in the recent elections, but despite enormous oil resources, the economy is not good and his fourteen years at the head of the country include some unsavory violations, great corruption, and unchecked crime. Bottom line, he was no Che Guevara and certainly no Salvador Allende. Also, as a matter of personal taste, I dislike posturing strongmen whose main platform is to thumb their nose at the culture of the great white oppressor.

So, with our planet ever spinning out of control, the sobbing red-shirted multitudes in Caracas, news of Syrian refugee camps filled beyond capacity, Israelis segregating buses for Palestinians and an ever-tearful Boehner leading yet another assault on Obama, I turn to that boon for procrastinating writers: an animal video. Which gets me thinking about how the internet has changed our perception of animals. Surely, even the animal lovers among us took them more for granted than now. We can sit transfixed by kittens, puppies, ducks crossing a highway, cats in a friendly exchange with doves and wolves breaking bread with lambs. We sigh when we receive yet another communication bearing the words “you have to see this” or “the cutest of them all” in the subject line but still we click and still we watch. The moment of respite is good; it allows us to breathe, to set aside, for a few minutes at least, our woes and those of the world. Then, despite our best intentions, this one we need to share and we send it on. These animal videos and photos that keep on cropping on our screens, that circle the globe many times over and are seen by millions are not only a welcome respite but our instant meditation, our break from the tumult.

  1. March 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    nice Saideh Jan!


  2. March 7, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    …and don’t forget those ever-present North Koreans (now with nukes??)


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