Uninspired, apprehensive

I’m not in the mood to write right now, sorry. It’s a strange time here in America, and I’m trying to absorb it all and make sense of it. I’ve never seen the country so split, and figuring out what’s true has never seemed so difficult. Over the past two weeks there’s been an avalanche of information and accusations and counter-accusations over Iraq and the upcoming elections, and once I get my arms around it all, I’ll be back. Probably in a day or two. Thanks for your patience.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

If you ask me, this is the perfect time to form a democracy.

just sayin’ is all.

May 23, 2004 @ 10:56 pm | Comment

I got to sympathise with you Richard these times must be testing every Americans perception of their country.

But as no-one goes through life without fault nor can countries either as they are just after all extensions of the collective human ego. It is how they overcome these shortcomings that is a mark of a person and a nation.

I have total faith that your country will come through these trying times a little humbler perhaps but paradoxically stronger.

America stood by us Aussies in WW2 and this Australian stands by an inherintly great and honorable people now.

May 24, 2004 @ 2:56 am | Comment


You are in Ellen’s and my thoughts daily. While these are indeed terrible times, you are a wonderful human being who is loved by many.

Take some time for yourself–if I were you, I would head off for Sedona and marvel at the beauty of our natural world, putting this man-made nightmare in perspective. But then, I love Sedona. You might have another special place in the great State of Arizona that does the trick for you.

Please take care of yourself. This world needs you–you CARE. And that hurts, but it is also good.

May 24, 2004 @ 10:50 am | Comment

Joseph, thanks for the incredibly kind words. Yes, a trip to Sedona would be healing; I find it more beautiful than even the Grand Canyon.

You really have to be here to know what a strange time it is in America’s history, and to know how polarized this country has become. Such a far cry from two and a half years ago, when it seemed we had all bonded together to fight an acknowledged evil. What a lost opportunity. Maybe the entire country needs to go to Sedona. America is in need of some major healing and reunification.

May 24, 2004 @ 12:01 pm | Comment

It’s just Reagan’s America again, that’s what it’s become. It’s no worse than other times when the GOP is in power.

You must have realized it was like this before you came back – you are a slave to the blogosphere, you read the WSJ and NYT.

May 24, 2004 @ 11:52 pm | Comment

I don’t see it that way Jeremy. Under Reagan there was far less division and far less apprehension. There was never a sense that he had made some incredible, arrogant mistake that virtually bled the country. I didn’t like him in terms of policy, but I admired his communications skills and his sincerity. Bush is differrent; there’s nothing to admire, and he is, in the words of his former Mideast envoy, sending us over Niagara Falls.

Being here is completely different than being in China and reading about the US on the Internet. Most of my colleagues in Asia were not Americans. Here I am, of course, surrounded by Americans and I can feel a sense of dread unlike any time before. (Most of my friends are on the liberal-center side of things, I admit.) Also, I had never seen Fox News on cable before I came back 2 months ago. That Fox is a vital source of “information” to so many people continues to bewilder and terrify me. When Americans listen to “political analysts” like Dick Morris and Ann Coulter and Oliver North — when these reactionaries are given the soapbox and presented as responsible, impartial commentators, we know something’s wrong, that propaganda is being substituted for news. There may be a liberal bias in most media, but that’s a far cry from the shrill and incredibly error-filled rantings of the Fox News team, all of which is presented to us with a straight face. I had never seen Hannityt or O’Reilly before, and was taken completely by surprise, despite having read bloggers complaints about them. When such angry, lying voices become mainstream, we know something’s wrong with our media. With our country.

No, reading the news and the blogs from Asia did nothing to prepare me for the situation at home. Of course, I arrived back at the end of March, just as the huge uprisings began in Iraq followed by Abu Ghraib, so things turned sharply worse, with more and more people speaking out about Bush. This also added to my general sense that it was not the same country I’d left at the end of 2000.

May 25, 2004 @ 8:57 am | Comment

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