Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My Next Vacation and Alternate Reality

It finally happened: an all-expense paid vacation to Cancun. Woo hoo! I'll be there at the end of April. I can't be pleased though. It still involves planning and traveling and wondering if I'll look okay in a bathing suit. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

I feel so trivial in my pursuits. I just read a bunch of stories about the weekend of anti-war protests. Many comparisons were made to the Vietnam protests. Mention was made of how more subdued protesters are these days. Maybe one day we'll actually get around to talking out our differences. Mention was also made of how protesters were careful not to have their march construed as anti-troops. Good thing. What these protests lacked in numbers they made up for in internationality. I don't remember Madrid protesting the Vietnam war.

I stay away from masses of people. They tend to get unruly. If I had the where withal I would be subsidizing anti-war effort and quite possibly Bush impeachment. The guy has got to go. I was very disappointed to hear Hillary Clinton talk about keeping troops in Iraq/Iran. I had such hopes. Which only goes to show that the disease is deeper than the President. It's entrenched and rotten. There is a high stink in Denmark. Do I smell Bushgate?

Speaking of alternate reality, that's my whole life. I purposefully ignore the news. Still I'm amazed at how little air and space the weekend protests have received. There was nothing about it on the morning TV news and the newspapers carried one, maybe two, stories with not much detail and few photos. Seems kind of like a phenomenon to me when thousands of people world wide rise up on the same day to protest a criminal act and then keep doing it for days. Seems to me there would be more coverage. But what do I know? I live in an alternate reality.

I learned to live in this reality while living in Lebabnon during the 1983 portion of the civil wars. Well, actually some foreign countries were involved like Syria and the United States. There was a dearth of information. There was intermittent electricity and running water. But mostly what got me started on not listening to the news is being part of a conversation among us homemakers one quiet day (read: no shelling). A friend and I were visiting her friend (both ex-pats of Europe). My friend asked, "Are you optimistic?" This was always the question. Well, that and "Do you think it will be quiet today?" or some such variation. Her friend said, "Yes. I am very optimistic." How can you be that way, my friend inquired. "I have stopped listening to the news," she said. Which was a real aha moment for me. Of course the news is mostly depressing. It's always about crap happening and people doing lousy stuff to each other. It gives the wrong focus. I thought she had something there. When you could get reliable news in Lebanon (not slanted by whatever side was reporting) it was generally all about how much ammunition was lofted by whom and how many were killed and the extent of the damage to structures and how important they were. Very depressing. During the fighting there was no other news. Entertainers still entertained and performed better than usual, children still went to school (sometimes), homes were built, couples married. Yet none of this stuff made news. It was all shooting and death. Well, there was the depressing state of the shops: little merchandise, most of it dusty. With no work except killing who had money?

Anyway, I prefer my alternate reality. It's more hopeful and positive. I don't think I'm an ostrich with my head in the sand. I like to think of myself as noticing an alternate reality and living in it.