Monthly Archives: May 2003

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible…

I just noticed that some javascript in my Blog template wasn’t working properly, and was causing the debugger to launch every time a mouseover event happened; I kept fixing it, but it kept getting broken again (incompatibility between Dreamweaver’s javascript & Blogger?), so I’ve removed all the mouseover Javascript, and hopefully it’s now fixed…

Tempus Fugits

I’ve aged since my last post; I’m now 35 years old. Friends who witnessed my panic at turning 30 (can that really be 5 years ago!?) will confirm that I’m not aging very gracefully. And as my little brother pointed out, it will only be a few blinks of the eye before I’m staring down the barrel of 40…

On the positive side, I got a nice tax refund from Uncle Sam, and have finally treated myself to the digital camera I always wanted (Canon Powershot S230 Digital Elph), so hopefully I’ll be able to get images up on this cobweb site in a slightly more timely fashion in future…

An Evening with Gore Vidal

I just came back from listening to Gore Vidal, at an event organised by The Nation Institute at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. It was a large auditorium, and it was sold out. Unfortunately either the acoustics or the public address system were lousy, so I could only make out about half of what he said, but that half was very good; sage & witty, without trivialising just how dire the present state of the union is. I won’t try to summarise his thesis, as it’s pretty much encapsulated in his two most recent books, both of which I highly recommend:

(For those seeking more instant gratification, check out this short op-ed piece, Blood for Oil, available online).

I also spoke briefly with the editor of The Nation, Katrina Vanden Heuvel; perhaps impolitely in retrospect, I failed to commend her on her opening remarks and merely asked her to give Gore Vidal a copy of a photograph I took when some friends & I met him briefly in Ravello, Italy in 1993.

Playground Politics

In yet another fit of U.S. imperial pique on an international scale, I read today with dismay that France, Germany & Russia were conspicuously not invited to an initial planning meeting for a multi-country “stabilisation force” for Iraq. Has the global political situation always been this childish and petulant?

I’m increasingly resigning myself to the dismal realisation that it’s always been like this. As the “might is right” mentality gains widespread political acceptance around the World, and pro-neocon pundits regurgitate past precedents of imperial tyranny (and my “homeland” Britain wrote large sections of the book on the subject) as justification, it’s more & more obvious that we haven’t progressed very much politically in the last two or three thousand years. How sad that a quote by Thucydides referring to the Peloponnesian War written more than 2,400 years ago is still relevant and much-quoted today:

“The strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.”