Lao Tzu

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Yesterday, as I lay on my bed reading the novel, Solar, by Ian McEwan (a very, very funny, relevant book), I could see my TV (turned on, but on mute) over the top of the book; and, at a certain point the action of an episode of Minute to Win It caught my attention. It was the end of the show, the last challenge for one teen-aged girl, whose teen team stood back in unbearable, anxious hopefulness and joy, while she attempted her winning feat——to make two towers of stacked soda cans, which were standing on a table, side by side, into one tower.  She tried hard, almost balancing her one tower, but, alas, the thing wobbled and collapsed—thus, she lost. Oh! The sorrow! The shame! The disappointment!

Concurrencies:  While I read my book, America is distracted by the likes of Minute to Win It, America's Got Talent, American Idol, The Next Top Model, whoever is "trending now" on Yahoo (who are those people, anyway?), etc., etc, while another kid with no future in America joins the military, where perhaps he might find himself in Afghanistan forced to witness his buddies murder innocent civilians, forced onto a kill team, forced to commit atrocities, forced into a second, third, fourth deployment; that is, while we play, a "war on terror" goes on in our name, and our nation crumbles into further corruption and degradation, a nation with as many separate, distinct identities —faces— as a schizophrenic on crack.  I don't know, but are we insane, or what?

An article at Common tells us about the "new face of war." We can now go in and assassinate whomever we please, violate whatever country's sovereignty we wish to. Where is this going? Do we think we can keep doing this and not inspire the ultimate in blowback—a nuclear attack on American soil itself?  Do the masters of war forget that Pakistan has nuclear weapons, or, do they have a death wish?  It appears to be the latter.

(This post inspired by Natural Lefty's post at, where you can see my unedited version of the above.)

1 comment:

  1. I guess it's been too long since I looked here. I remember having such a conversation with you on I am glad to see it here and our conversation was the inspiration.

    I even forget which post it was, or whether that was before or after Bin Laden was killed, but the sobering truths remain regardless.

    By the way, it's looking like I will go to Taiwan August 1 and return August 25, but will have computer access there.

    Having just critiqued lawyers, Eunice and my pretty young real estate lawyer that we like called today and it sounded like she had been crying. I think she was fired from her job for reasons unknown to us, so she told us she was leaving the law firm and another lawyer would be handling our case if anything needs to be done. I have the impression that life for professionals of all kinds in this capitalistic, hypercompetitive culture is extremely stressful, even if they do tend to have good incomes. It was the same way with the professors I knew at U.C. Riverside.