Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anger ... and Hope

Spent the day walking around Berkeley (yes, CA) yesterday .... you know ..... for educational purposes. Yes, Darwin would have had, and should have, a field day.

As for anger ..... ugh ..... I switched off and observed .... and even then I had to suppress the urge to punch a bunch on a few occasions.

But the day was punctuated by polar differences. It was the day the Dalai Lama was to speak and inspire the crowds. I have no interest in what the Lama has to say [though I would pay money to hear him say "SEE! THIS is what unchecked PACIFISM leads to"], but I was more fascinated with the people coming to see him. The starry eyed, the sheep who need a leader in troubled times, the SUV driving drones who come to hear him speak of global healing.

My wife and I actually came to Berkeley to hike up to the Lawrence Hall of Science, where we stumbled across a High School Solar Powered Sprint Car Competition. The cars were nothing special, though it was obvious that some kids understood that mechanical design matters. What did stand out was that the Lama didn't matter, at that moment anyway, to these kids. For them science, competition and design mattered. Those who didn't win will be back next time with better designs. Learning, progress, perseverance.

So, yes, anger .... but hope too.

P.S. Turns out, the Lama spoke about terrorism and admitted he like George W. Bush. Well, knock me down and shit on my head. Maybe the Lama does have a clue.

P.P.S. Telegraph Ave. was once, oh ... say in the mid-1980s, interesting. Now it's gritty, dirty ... and irrelevant. Seeing the summer-of-love rejects aging hippies, with their skin wrinkled from years of drug abuse, flogging their wares and their old and tired political screeds, is sad.


Weetabix said...

I'd always considered Berkeley the locus of virulently harmful stupidity in the US. I can't imagine going there on purpose.

I find myself wanting to punch people who have Obama campaign stickers on their cars. I can't imagine how I'd have felt at Berkeley.

I'm glad you're not in jail on assault charges...

Felix Estrella said...

Well, I had lots of Purell on hand.

As for BART (the train) ... If our betters want us proles to use more public transit, how about making it more enjoyable to use. Clean up the graffiti and dirt, and put some teeth behind the rules. Include in those rules "thou shalt be considerate and polite to your fellow travelers". Get rid of the bums and socio-paths and I might be more encouraged to use public transit. Until then, I'll just drive, thank you very much.

Weetabix said...

Ah, mass transit!

We were in Dallas one time, taking their trains. Going to our destination was pleasant. Coming back in the evening? Not so much. It reminded me of the Clash's Red Angel Dragnet:

"All the animals come out at night.
Queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick venal."
Add in the hip-hop gangsters, and you have an educational trip for the kids.