Doctor Jedi’s Blog
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light.

We live in interesting times.

This happened a few days ago.

As I sat in the coffee room munching on my lunch and browsing on my i phone ( did I ever mention that I love it … and I fully retract the disparaging posts that I had written about it a year or so ago), a colleague was peeking over my shoulder trying to see what I was reading.

When he finally figured out that I was reading an op ed on the New York Times ( did I ever mention that I love it and I can only re iterate what I have written about a lot of times), he addressed me in a disparaging tone and said ” America!! … why do you find what is happening in America interesting”.

To which I replied … we are all americans by proxy. Without voting rights though. What is happening in america today will affect all of us tomorrow. And although we cannot influence what happens there, but there is no harm in being well informed.

He disagreed with me. I guess the vehemence of the disagreement with this statement will be directly proportional to the clout that ones nation holds on the world stage. ( This person was spanish, proudly so.)

When I mentioned the recent strikes and walkouts by public sector workers in Spain that happened a few days ago and their connection to the sub prime crisis in the US mortgage sector, he did begin to see reason. And soooort of agreed with what I was saying,

But its true, isnt it. We are all americans by proxy although without voting rights.

If I were a social scientist, I would do some research on this topic. I would pick up people at random and see what effect do decisions taken in Washington and Wall Street affect their lives as compared to the decisions taken in their national or provincial capitals. I am pretty sure the results would back what I just suggested.

The developed world thought they could get richer by buying each others houses at progressively higher prices, and the rest of the world is paying for that  folly. I am sure that they are suffering as well, but us lesser mortals share in their suffering without sharing their guilt.

Two years.It is amazing how two years can change the psychology of a nation. From the heady days of Obamas campaign and victory, we now have the debacle that is the mid term elections hanging over the Democratic party. The Democrats are well on their way to lose both the houses. The Republicans spurred on by the enthusiasm of the Tea Party are making gains in seats that were historically Democrat held. After losing Ted Kennedys senate seat in Mass., the Democrats are now en route to losing Obamas seat in Illinois too. The left thinks that Obama’s reforms did not go far enough. The right has an avowed agenda to reverse or starve his reforms on healthcare … a route they think leads to socialist excesses. It seems that walking the middle path has not served Obama at all. A recent in a comment in an interview sums it all.” I would rather be a good one term president rather than a mediocre two term president”.

On the other side of the pond, in my adopted homeland, the winds of change are blowing … and are they blowing hard or what. Every day brings news of some new cuts. The pensionable age is up, benefits are cut, qunagos are abolished, people laid off. The irony of the situation is that the bankers are still being paid their bonuses. I think its the best time to be in banking. You do a good job, you are rewarded. You do a bad job. Yor are rewarded. Its a win win situation all around. You just CANNOT get it wrong. Even the state owned banks are raking it in. Their losses in the crash are set against their taxes and they have saved 19 billion pounds in taxes (according to yesterdays news). And the EU political masters are already scrambling to try and cap the bonuses for this christmas. As much as our political masters are in awe of Big Finance, in this day and age the news of billion pound bonuses is not going to sit well with the electorate at all.

France on the other hand is boiling over. The retirement age has been upped by two years and suddenly the whole country is up in arms. People are hoarding fuel. Flights are being cancelled and there is uproar all around. The French are indeed past masters at civic unrest. The French Revolution giving us modern democracy and all that.  It will be interesting to see what happens there next.

Germany is having a dialogue on multi multiculturalism. The Chancellor has declared it a failed experiment. Actually most of mainland Europe is facing a resurgence of right wing ideology. Be it the Dutch, the Swiss, the French or the Italians. And its not only directed at Islam, the recent mass deportation of the Roma from France courtesy Sarkozy being a  case in point.

And that brings me back to my motherland. The commonwealth games are finally over. And now the actual show will start. The Games are over. Let the Games begin. Suresh Kalmadi, the doyen of Indian Sport ( Sarcasm alert) is pointing fingers at Sheila Dixit and Sheila Dixit is reciprocating in kind. The Congress Party leadership is trying hard to prevent them washing their dirty linen in public.  Millions of dollars of public money has been siphoned off into private hands. Oh well … it can only be good for the economy.

And it goes on and on.

In the meantime, on a more personal front. I celebrated my 1020th birthday. (counting to the base 3). I thought is was my 100th, until my brother pointed out an obvious mistake in calculation. And I realised that I was a lot older, but none the wiser.

Isnt it funny that the whole basis of our numerical system is biology based. If we had 3 digits per hand, we would be counting to the base 6. We hardly ever think about these things given that the individual experience only builds up on a foundation of what the sum total of our culture and species has experienced in the past. Pythagoras made a huge leap for mankind by discovering his theorem millennia ago, yet today it is one of the first tenets of mathematics taught to toddlers in school.

We take a lot for granted when we build up on the experiences of those who have come before us. And most of the times, this saves us time and effort. But it wouldnt harm much to reflect on all that we take for granted …

On that note, I will now take your leave.

Doctorjedi.

 

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One Response to “We live in interesting times.”

  1. Indeed we live in interesting times. American politics is at best confusing and entertaining. There is a seriously worrying swing to the extreme right here at present. Even a lot of republicans are worried at the thought of someone like Palin being their presidential candidate. Amongst candidate senators and governors backed by Palin are a woman who thinks that a woman who is pregnant after a rape should be forced to continue the pregnancy, and a man who believes that the USA should bomb Mecca and Medina as a pre-emptive strike to deter Muslim extremists. The level of ignorance is incredible. Obama has become a hate figure because the economy is in such a mess – which of course was not his doing (GW Bush has even admitted he was in charge of a sinking ship!) and because although the Americans liked the idea of no-one going without health insurance, they now really don’t like the idea of paying for it – even though in the long run it will cost them less in insurance premiums.

    The media here is powerful, influential and very right wing. I feel sorry that the americans have no independent news source to get their facts from.

    Drake.


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