Just read a thought-provoking albeit heavy-on-the-standard-conspiracy editorial on the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. Somalia, the convenient sometime theater in that oh-so-versatile war on terror. Why does Somalia come up only every so often, only to fade away into the ether with astonishing speed? Having abandoned the country long ago to "rogue" status and the whimsy of testosterony predatory warlords, the Islamic terrorism discourse seems to be the least of its problems. Muslim or Christian, a warlord still sucks.
So let me get this straight, Castro's going to outlive us all? Too bad, I'd imagined a fabulous meeting at the pearly gates - James Brown, Fidel, and Gerald Ford. Can you imagine?
Matthew told me today that back in his heydey, Sir Brown used to rent out the Apollo for a whole week and sell out like three concerts a day for the whole week. Who can sell out concerts like that now? Yeah, nobody. His bod's apparently on display at the Apollo right now, for mourners to pay their respects. I think I'd rather put on an album, turn out the lights and work up a sweat in my socks on my living room dancefloor.
so what else is there to do but work as hard as I can, right? Well, actually, I spent the better part of my day freaking out. I know that the world cares about more important information, like for example, the fact that the late great James Brown's "wife" has a funny last name, but who really cares about the clash of civilizations anymore? I mean, it's turned into this sicko self-fulfilling prophesy, it's not a gross misrepresentation of a much more complex and subtle reality anymore, so why bother examining it anymore?
But still and still, the more I think and write and simmer in my own solitude, the more it irritates me that the clash of civilizations has become a reality, that we are so susceptible to alienating ourselves from each other, and that whether or not I put this book out there, the tide of generalization and hostility will not turn.
It doesn't seem like enough to have spent all this time and energy only to end up with...a book. I want to start up a conversation. Is this corny? I want for all of us to talk about why we have such bizarre prejudices and fears, why group identities are exclusive, and why personal choices like religion become political categories.
Right, so here it is. There is NO policy solution to integration. What else will make way for emotional and psychological integration but a society-wide dialogue, no cheap tricks, no fake rhetoric, just honest....ok, I'll say it...healing.
But still, there are people who will tell you that this is less important that war and global warming. So I guess pick your passion.
Honestly, I just couldn't bring myself to finish that thought. I have been informed that I need to leave my apartment, because I'm starting to sound like a nut.
To summarize: having struggled with the vagaries of the working world, flirted with that sexy beast otherwise known as "a steady income", having compromised every ethical impulse I had to work on a contractual basis in what is known as "reputational risk management" for a major corporate entity, I have thrown it all away and returned to the computer. Yes, to finish this book.
Two weeks, my friends, and I will hand in a complete draft to my publisher. I still have no title!!!
Anyway, just wanted to welcome myself back to my beloved, abandoned blog. See you soon.
NAVEND, Center for Kurdish Studies Bonn-based research and dialogue center providing interface between academics, politicians, community-based groups working on integration issues, journalists, the public, and Kurdish immigrants. Strongly non-partisan.