December 31, 2004

new year, new calamities

I guess people think of New Year's as a time to start over. Make resolutions, that kind of thing. I don't. Sometimes, in a really tough year, I think of the anniversary of the event that started it as a kind of closure. So September 2001 to September 2002 was really hard. I take geopolitical events personally, and that year was the September 11 attacks and our invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of my sense that I and people like me were at the very edge of the country, about to be kicked out completely. Which we are. It was also a year in which terrible things happened to my friends. Suicide, attacks, that kind of thing. During the year, I kept thinking about how this was a bad period, and a good period would come along at some point. At the end of September 2002, I thought maybe the next year would be better. It was. But then this year is bad again, elections and tsunamis. I don't think things will be better soon. I have the feeling that we're on a bad road right now, and not one that will turn or fork or end soon.

Of course, there will always be good times and bad times. But I think there are a lot more bad times than good times to come, right now. Climate change. A new, specially American kind of fascism. More wars, more recessions, more split between rich and poor in the US and elsewhere. Less money for education and primary health services. Unchecked HIV and flu epidemics. And all the good things happening right now - the growth of farmer's markets and experiential education and alternatives of all sorts - take a long, long time to make an impact.

We'll see. Happy New Year anyway.

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