Saturday, June 4, 2011

scratch my belly

British and French helicopters swung into action in Libya yesterday, the American politician John Edwards was indicted for spending campaign contributions to keep his mistress out of the limelight, and a lackluster jobs report helped to dim further Wall Street's brilliant ability to make money ... all this and more, and the story that caught my eye was of twin friars, born seconds apart, who died hours apart at 92 on Wednesday.

Sic transit gloria mundi. The serious and outrageous concerns that once could grip and compel just don't have the same effect any more. What once was an analytical and vaguely flinty mind rolls over lazily on the living room rug and looks for things that will scratch its belly. I sometimes fear that I am being reincarnated as the lazy, nitwit politician Sarah Palin... whose candle, if I am not mistaken, is guttering in the face of hard economic facts.

It's not that I don't care, somehow ... it's just that I cannot as once bring my blood to a boil. Awful, stupid, cruel, horrible, corrupt ... yes indeed, things can be all of that and more. But the story of the two friars, so safe-sex and softball, is just fun-er. Maybe that's what lazy is -- the insistence on fun. On the other hand, I don't feel insistent, so perhaps laziness has more compelling components.

This morning, I will go downtown and stand on the peace picket line for an hour. I try to do it every Saturday -- getting into much-unused Buddhist robes, making sure my rakusu is straight and driving to the site outside the courthouse. War is a vile and ignorant business and I am happy to lend some small presence to that point of view. But the truth of the matter is that I go as much as anything for the outdoors, the air and, when it complies, the sun.

Scratch my belly.

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