Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Sad, Sore, Schmushed

I am trying to be yoga, but that monkey is going to be our President again, and I'm going to have to try to explain it to every person I meet in Europe, and I don't understand it myself.

One European put it to me this way: "You've got about 290 million people in the US, right?"

"Um, yeah. Thereabouts."

"And that's the best you could do?"

Yes, George W. Bush is apparently the best we could do in electing the single most powerful individual in the entire world. A man who sees the world in terms of "evildoers" vs. those with some sort of mandate from his God. A man whom (most of) the rest of the world abhors. Even if one explores the outer limits of imagination, and supposes that he was competent, that he really is a good President, you would still have to acknowledge that the rest of the world at least perceives him as a cowboy. (Nothing against cowboys here: as John Travolta said in Urban Cowboy: "All cowboys aint dumb. Some got smarts real good.") But some are, in fact, real dumb asses, aren't they? Or John's character wouldn't have even made such a pitiful defence of their "smarts," as he put it. Perception in foreign relations is vital. If the rest of the world is antipathetic to our President, perceives him as stupid and dangerous, then this will have comprehensive effects: everything from our ability to promote our agenda at the U.N. to how American individuals are received abroad are affected.

Consider these words from the Dalai Lama:

"Since our very existence and well-being are a result of the cooperation and contributions of countless others, we must develop a proper attitude about the way we relate to them...Today, in our modern global economy, national boundaries are irrelevant. Not only do countries depend upon one another, but so do continents. We are heavily interdependent." And, "One-sided victory is no longer relevant. We must work to resolve conflicts in a spirit of reconciliation and always keep in mind the interests of others."*

In addition to my anguish over the election, tonight I was driving to Tampa to see Dr. M, and a man from New Jersey slammed into the back of me on I-275. My neck jerked violently forwards and backwards on impact, though now I feel OK. But my dad says it's tommorrow and the next day when the pain will show up. I was driving my brother's car, and it's schmushed and sad now. I'm sorry, Aaron. I also have a wicked sore throat, and I have no idea what I'm doing with my life.

If you could leave a comment saying something along the lines of "I feel really sorry for you. You poor thing! How brave you are to go on blogging in the face of such adversity! Shall I come over immediately and make you matzah ball soup?" that would be great.

*from the Introduction of An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life


At 1:00 PM, Blogger undrentide said...

Kedves Audra!

You have every sympathy of mine, that dreadful cowboy is still at large (another four years!!), people are hurtling many whys at you for what is not your responsibility, and an awful accident on top of it, not to mention your sore throat...!
I do wish I could come over to you with my favourite red, heart-shaped le Creuset pot full of my nice homemade "leves" of paprika from Kalocsa!! A warm hug from Toyko!


At 3:07 PM, Blogger andrew s.yang said...

Audra - -

I share your despondency most acutely. And I don't know what to say to my firneds in other countries. So many hopes and feeling of possibility were riding on this vote, so many people I saw toil like this election was the darkest, deepest mine and we were all digging in the pitch black, trying to uncover every voter, --to find diamonds. and get out of this hole.
Anyway. it is all still and will still be shock for some time. And an anxiety.

And then your accident! Not a way to return to the states. I hope your neck is feeling not too terrible today. I recommend a klondike ice cream bar. and rice pudding. In that order.

I once returned from a year absence only to have to watch OJ Simpson flee down the LA highway the next morning. Talk about culture shock!

and so i hope this finds you well and better,

At 4:04 AM, Blogger Irma Vep said...

What sweeties.

Yuriko, are you as good at Hungarian cooking as you are at the language? I am imagining eating your paprikas leves in Tokyo, and it's delicious.


Thank you for the kind message. I really didn't think he was going to win. I carried my absentee ballot to the post office on Szemere utca with such purpose: I really felt a sort of magic about what I was sending off, like a child letting go of a balloon leaves his mark on the sky-- I had the sense of marking my country with my missive. Not so.

Now I am gun-shy both of elections and of driving. Tommorrow I will get on a bus and then on a train to avoid driving. But I will not avoid elections. The following is a source of comfort, one of the Dalai Lama's favorite prayers:

So long as space remains,
So long as sentient beings remain,
I will remain,
In order to help, in order to serve,
In order to make my own contribution.

At 5:45 AM, Blogger SilverMythago said...

the Dalai Lama is a smart man. I once had the priviledge to say "Hello" to him. At that very moment I wondered why our country couldn't be led by a person like him. Isn't he more like a true hero? Someone with true and compassionate wisdom, a smart cowboy?

At 3:46 AM, Blogger David Ryan Kennerly said...

Well, a car accident and a sore throat are bad enough, but to have to return to Europe after "that monkey" was elected (not re-elected, mind you; he stole it the first time) and explain the choices of your fellow knuckle-draggers in the US deserves real sympathy. I am thinking of you, Audra, with great sympathy and fondness. Perhaps it is better for you to be out of the country in the immediate future - who knows what Orwellian horror we are in for in the next four years.


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