25th September, 2005 // USA
Ranting and Reminiscing
Hello friends, itís been a long time since Iíve written, and I donít really know why; maybe because thereís not been anything extraordinarily eventful happening in my life of late. In the past month there have been several hikes, a backpacking weekend, a little golf, lots of reading, some writing, not enough stimulating conversation, and too much work. The grass isnít growing much anymore, so that means more shoveling, raking, sweeping, digging, and other such manual tasks capable of healing the psyche but hurting the back. Itís interesting how a good hard day of work can be so satisfying yet leave you so sore. Itís no secret that I donít like to work more than I have to (thereís so much more to life), but lately Iíve been working a lot of overtime trying to save up some money for new winter gear. You give and you get, I guess.
This is the time of year when I most miss home. Something about the season turns my mind to growing up in Illinois. The slight chill in the air, the light breeze, and the crisp blue skies remind me of high school football games under the Friday night lights, of the nervous anticipation of a new school year, of stubble-strewn corn fields, and the excitement of hunting season. I guess some of my fondest memories of youth are from autumn in the heartland. Itís probably no coincidence though that not much is happening here in Aspen, as the summer season is all but over, and now we begin the eternally agonizing wait for the snow to fall and the pure joy of snowboarding to begin.
However, the mountainsides are screaming with color as the Aspen leaves turn to gold and the Scrub Oaks run the spectrum from blaze orange to a deep, rich red that looks as if it could drip down the hill like blood from an open wound. With the mild temperatures and minimal tourism, hiking right now may be the best of the year, so Iíve been hitting the trail as much as possible.
Since thereís not much to write about here, Iíll comment a bit on national events. Hurricane Katrina seems to have exposed large flaws in governments on both the local and national level. New Orleans apparently lacks any kind of worthwhile local government, and once again weíve seen a terribly delayed reaction from the man who should at the very least be a symbol of leadership, and in reality be the man who dictates action and directs this countryís vast resources. But I suppose this is what we get when we elect an egotistical man who doesnít believe in government, and would rather see this country run by corporations in the private sector, which is basically what has happened since W took office. All the donations and volunteer help for the relief effort are a tremendous testament that there is some good in human nature, but isnít the Red Cross just letting the government get away with not doing its job? Congress has passed resolutions to give billions to the rebuilding efforts, but I wonder if they could give more had Bushie not given all his rich buddies huge tax cuts a few years ago. And where is this money coming from? The unnecessary war in Iraq already has our deficit at record levels, not to mention costing human and mechanical resources that could have been used in the aftermath of the hurricanes. And is anybody better off because of the invasion of Iraq? Certainly not the Iraqi people, but maybe Haliburton (where Cheney is still on the payroll) is. Many of these issues were relevant in the last election, yet Bush still got re-elected, and I think part of the reason is education, or lack thereof. Civic education in this country is brutally bad, thus contributing to our current situation. How can people elect good government leadership when they donít know what government is and what its function should be? The best interest of the welfare of its citizenry should be foremost in government ideals, but this administration has chosen to ignore 98% of its constituents. So the rich get richer, and everyone else suffers in small increments from a polluted environment, from an economical squeeze, from a slowly decaying quality of life.
If anyone has any thoughts on these matters, Iíd be interested to hear them. And I am not glum, I still love this country and the life it provides me, I just think it could and should be better.
Dreaming of a day when the Proles rise up for a revolution,
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