Wednesday, November 3


There is not much surprise in yesterday's US mid-term elections which usually swing against the prevailing party: President Obama and the Democrats take a thumping including the loss of the Illinois seat once held by Senator Obama. Bunk. Yesterday saw all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 37 of the 100 seats in the Senate contested along with 38 governorships, many state legislatures, four territorial legislatures and numerous state and local races. The Republicans take control of the House of Representatives but fall just short of winning the Senate. At least unpleasant Meg Whitman and her money do not take California - but Jerry Brown? Oy vey. I listen to the joyous screeches from America's heartland on the BBC and wonder: Another Republican shut down of the US government similar to '95? Surely nobody wants that yet how are we going to compromise on debt and tax reduction? Unlike '95, which seemed like a goof, America's 10%+ unemployed need their unemployment cheques. These buggers are armed too. Plus there is Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iran (oh my). And China's currency policy. Oh, and social security, Medicaid and climate change. Under Clinton's second term, politics returned to some middle ground (many of Gingrich's points in his "Contract With America" implemented BTW including welfare reform) and times were good. Let us hope for a similar best case but somehow I do not see Sarah and the Tea Party having a clue nor care for the country. Drill, baby, drill.

I saw Koyaanisqatsi at the Thayer Street cinema at a midnight showing my Freshman year in '85. The film presents slow motion and time-lapse stock footage of cities and natural landscapes across the United States. The visual tone poem contains no dialogue nor vocalized narration: its tone is set by the juxtaposition of images and music composed by Philip Glass. It is generally very depressing and concludes with the explosion of a rocket whose nose slowly tumbles back to earth, out of control. Says director Godfrey Reggio: "it's not for lack of love of the language that these films have no words. It's because, from my point of view, our language is in a state of vast humiliation. It no longer describes the world in which we live."

"Crazy life, life in turmoil, life out of balance, life disintegrating, a state of life that calls for another way of living."
-- Hopi definition, Koyaanisqatsi