I'm supposed to have an open mind about this trip.
Pray for me...
Sheez... Okay Boston is known for having agressive and rude drivers. And I can only take so much of people swearing at me, before I'm going to stand up and say somthing. However, no matter what happens, unless you really tell the person off. It doesn't make a difference. Traffic is a fact of life here, and as my friend says, I probably loose five years from my life. You're still stuck in it. Plus, it sits in you for a while while you mull what you might have said in return. Aside frome me stopping my car (we were still stuck in non-moving traffic) Getting out, waving my hands in the air and explaining 'What the #@$!" The idiot in the other car (with his wife, or girlfriend, looking sheepish) continued to swear at me.
So the result, I took the train to work today, and yesterday rode my bike to the office, getting a ride home with a co-worker. I haven't decided if I'm going to drive tomorrow, but it was nice taking the train. Sigh. I guess there's a bit of pride in not driving my car two days in a row.
Oh well, that's life.
The sermon at church this week was "Worship = Reconciliation" Our pastor's sermon on Leviticus 16. We discussed this in small group as well. I couldn't seem to remember the main point of the sermon. All I could think about was meat.
All I could think about during the sermon was the Pastor's lead in, which was about how he went out for a big dinner the night before, and since he's on the Atkins diet, he's eating a lot of meat. So after the bacon and eggs for breakfast, and the rest of his gastonomical endeavors in the morning. He get's to the point about how he can't worship if his stomach is upset.
And then he starts reading from the bible, on how the ancient Israelites worshiped. The sin offering, and the burnt offering, and the preperation of the priests of Aaron for the day of attonement. About goats, rams, and bulls to be offered up to heaven.
All I can think about is, "dang all that roasting meat probably smelled good." No wonder God delighted in the aroma of the offering.
Thus the NY times has this article about Southern Country Ham, which is actually a better sermon lead in, and less of an inspiration for the hopeless romantic than I initially thought.
"Taste My Prosciutto" He said with a Drawl
It's a good story about how you can take somthing that's quintessentially southern-American, in all it's unasshamed emphatic salinity, somthing that shouldn't even make consideration in the diverse multicultural cosmopolitan culture of New York or California. And yet, upon closer examination, shows a complexity and depth of flavor, that rivals and even stands as an equal, to all the things that we have held aloft as the finest examples of our civility.
The culinary world is the best and the worst example of multiculturalism. Thus is why this site is called GyozaQuest, the relentless pursuit of perfection.
There's an article in the NY Times, about how things are changing in Tibet. And how it's not whether it's going to happen, but how and who's controlling it. Another classic case of the conflicts created by globaization.
"The economic goal is to "modernize" Tibet's agrarian economy. But the political goal, analysts say, is to gradually secularize Tibetans and undercut political opposition with the fruits of capitalism."
It's an interesting example, of the conflict when a traditional culture meets the modern world. Without the modernization, most of my friends would be unable to have ever have visited Tibet. Travel restrictions, have been lighter, trips are better organized, hotels are more modern there. But the prosperity although it is affecting everyone, it is not being spread equally. And in the rush to moderinzation, some of the old ways, some of the old culture is being lost.
Is this what the west is doing to all those Muslim countries, and why there's such a backlash against all things western. Is there a choice, or is it simply inevitable.
As the phrase says "Change is Constant."
I've had this as the .sig on my mail for a couple of weeks now. And gotten some comments that some people are uncomfortable. I hadn't realized that there is a double interprative meaning to these stanzas.
The offending line, is "Rock me goddess"
I can see how that can be misinterpreted. In a folk song, it implies the comforting arms of a creator in blissful existence before evil had a chance to creep into the world.
However using the 1950's, slang term for 'rock' as in 'Rock and roll,' or 'rock me all night long' implies a copulative act. It's a more carnal less comforting image.
To use the term "goddess", as opposed to "God" implies a more earthy, less Judeo-Christian, deity.
However in light of the first three lines, the meaning to me was clear.
To be rocked by a goddess, is to be comforted as a parent comforts a child.
In all my travels,
wherever into my own darkness I may go,
I will never be alone,
I will always have a sacred home,
and my childlike comfort is from God.
It's an odd case study, about the effects of globalization.
That you wonder if both Yasir Arafat (the embittered leader of the Palestinians), and Criag Barrett (the CEO of Intel) call Arial Sharon. Who's he going to listen to first? My hunch is that Intel is more important than peace.
And to add question to the inquiry, today just where was Ariel Sharon, when the suicide bombers start blowing things up. He's in India negotiating a trade agreement.
I'm trying to decide just why, me, a child of technology, who doesn't go anywhere where I can't connect my computer. Why I 'm going to spend my vacation going to the edge of the desert in the middle of rural central China?
Read through it, it's kind of spooky, as if reading through a page from "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" and the wonders and horrors of globalization.
"Plug into globalization without the right software and operating system (economic structures), and it will melt down your economy in the blink of an eye. Plug into it without enviornmental surge protectors, and it will pave over your forests in a flash. Open your borders to globalization's cultural onslaught, without protective filters, and you could go to sleep one night thinking you're an Indian, an Egyptian, and Israeli, a Chinese or a Brazilian and wake up the next morning to find that all your kids look like Ginger Spice and your boys all want to dress like Hulk Hogan."
Is this the frontiers of globalization?
Poor rural farmers in the middle of nowhere using the internet to check commodity prices in Chicago. So they know what a fair price is for their crops. They're not just selling their product in the local bazzar, but now competing in a global marketplace.
Why am I going to the edge of the desert in the middle of rural central China?
Answer: Because there's an internet cafe there.
PS: At this point I'm reminded of my buddy Darren sitting in the internet cafe in Brazil, exclaiming it's a microcosm for his life in Shanghai.
We've bought into the system, globalization. Is there really no other choice?
We've eaten the apple, and chosen knowlege, at the cost of the garden of Eden. Thus we became banished from the home God had made for us.
Cain was a farmer, rooted in the land. His brother was the shephard, always in search of greener pastures. Why was Cain so jealous of his brother? Was it simply that he did not have the best thing to offer. Or is there an inherent unsatisfied wanderlust, that could not be met by tilling the land. So Cain killed Abel and was banished from his land, thenceforth ironically he became a dweller in the city.
Abraham was a nomad. Although God gave him a promised land, he would never reach it.
The more I see of the world, the more the world looks the same to me. In more ways than just our physical transcience, I'm always adrift in the sea of technology. Change is constant. I run simply to keep from drowing in the flood.
I sometimes wonder if my life, and the life of all the rest of us caught up in this revolution, are only going to result in us becoming more jaded, more sarcastic, and more cynical. It feels like and endless techno re-mix. Pounding, driving, and relentless, it surges, and pulses, but never ceases. Always a constant energy pushing. Just when you think there might be a break, and the drum machine might give you a break, it starts again, a relentless pursit of efficency. Life as a tumbleweed is no life at all.
Thomas Friedman writes it like this:
"Innovation now replaces tradition, the present or perhaps the future replaces the past. Nothing matters so much as what will come next, and what will come next can only arrive if what is here now gets overturned. While this makes the system a terrific place for innovation, it makes it a difficult place to live since most people prefer some measure of security about the future to a live lived in almost constant uncertainty... We shouldn't be forced to re-create our relationships with those closest to us on a regular basis.
"We need our olive tree. Somthing to represent everything that roots us, identifies us, and locates us in the is world. It is belonging to a family, a community a tribe, a nation, a religion, or most of all a place called home. Olive trees are what give us the warmth of family, the joy of individuality, the intimacy of personal rituals, the depth of private relationships, as well as the confidence and security to reach out and encounter others. We fight so intensely at times over our olive tress because, at their best they provide for us the feeling sof self-esteem and belonging that are as essential for human survival as food and shelter. The nation state will never dissapear, because it is the representation of who we belong to. Linguistically, geographically and historically. You cannot be a complete person alone. You can be a rich person, you can be a smart person. You must be rooted in an olive grove."