Thursday, June 27, 2013

Yesterday I sat with two women in my home making centerpieces for our neighborhood Independence Day dinner (to be held on July 2nd.)  One of the women emigrated from England 30 years ago.  She became an American a few weeks ago.  She deferred becoming a citizen until her mother died, an event that occurred earlier in the year.

On July 4th,  Gari and I will be going to a barbecue hosted by another women whose roots are in England.  She is Gari's brother's "lady friend."  I'm amused that two British women figure prominently in my Independence Day celebrations this year.
I think that the United States of America is a wonderful country despite its many complex problems.  I can think of no other country in which I'd like to be living.  (I suspect that I'd have similar feelings towards England if it was my birthplace and my home, but not China or another place in which the sphere of personal freedom is substantially smaller than I enjoy.)

To freedom then, this fragile state in which we live, usually taking it for granted, as basic as the air we breathe; we notice it only when it is foul.  Today (and possibly always) there is a threat to our freedom in actions done in the name of personal security.   The balance between the two is tricky.  In the past few weeks, we've been made aware of the use of telephone records to fight against terrorism.  I haven't formulated a solid opinion about this. I know also that a reasoned position could be obliterated by a flamboyant terrorist incident.  Our future is at the mercy of a madman or a group of them  I suppose that this is the story of our fast paced time.  

But for now - I rejoice - in my country, for my country, for all of humans who have been fortunate to live in societies where freedom is as basic as the air they breathe.

Monday, June 24, 2013

From the Sublime to the Gutter

At 2 p.m., a performance of the Tales of Hoffman by the San Francisco Opera

At 6:30 p.m.,  "Man of Steel," a story of Superman from his his birth on Crypton, to his childhood in Kansas, and on to the world stage saving mankind

At 9:40 p.m., "The Bling Ring" during the screening in which we get a glimpse of the extravagant lifestyle of Paris Hilton

From the sublime
to popular chase 'em and blow stuff up
to the gutter

I prefer the sublime.

Slumming was not as much fun as I thought it would be.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Heartbreaking Event

I was wondering if I would post again and why.

The "why" is a news article that I read moments ago.  It saddens me and outrages me.  I am raging.

An 8 year old girl was kidnapped from a Walmart in Florida on Friday.  The suspect had been released from jail on May 31.   A registered sex offender, his recent offense had been impersonating an official and "aggravated child abuse by willful torture."

The mother and daughter met the suspect at a nearby Dollar Store.  He offered to buy clothing for them at Walmart.  After 2 hours in Walmart, the suspect said he would buy them hamburgers.  He left Walmart with the girl and drove away with her in his van.  The mother called the police and said that her daughter had been kidnapped.  On Saturday, the suspect was apprehended and held without bail.  The charge was changed from kidnapping to murder later the day when the girl's body was found at a church 4 miles away from the Walmart.

There is nothing really to say about this.  One wonders about the mother.  Is she mentally incompetent? Was she on drugs. What does it take for a woman to go with a stranger to go shopping for clothing for herself and her 8 year old daughter? What does it take for a women to allow her 8 year old daughter within the reach of such a stranger?

Such a heartbreaking story.

It's been a long time from when I last posted.  Most of my on-line friends no long maintain their blogs.  Three of them do so.  I hope one or two drop by and share their comments.  I don't know why except that right now - in The City alone to catch a couple operas and meet my son for lunch on Monday - I feel alone with this awful awful event .