Earlier this week a TV panel was discussing the isolation of American opinion from broader opinions shared around the world regarding the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon and one of the commentators said: "Americans live in a media ghetto." I'm not sure I agree really, but the comment rattled me anyway. Skimming through the Sunday paper today, I got the impression that I see things differently than most. I'm not sure that it's a matter of differences of opinion, rather how I paste things together.
Eritrean-born musician/author in the Sunday UK Times zung me a zinger by saying:
“Don’t cry for these people. Don’t cry for me. It doesn’t count. I want to see positive action. It’s not enough to say, ‘How sad, we hope something will change’. Hope is good, but it’s not enough.”Sobs, I cry from sadness, I cry from frustration. I've got to agree with Senait it doesn't do a whole lot of good. On the other hand when I read so many expressions of enthusiasm for death and destruction, I'm flumoxed. I don't get it.
Turning to the fashion page of the newspaper I was delighted to see the pictures from Dee Blemahdoo's shop in Homestead. I want some African-inspired clothing. I like this picture most because of the hats. I've gotten requests for Party Hats for Potash in fabric. I respond that it could be done. I don't have any intention of making them, first because it would be hard and second I'm pretty sure they'd be no more popular than the paper ones. Still, I like hats, and having momentary misgivings about ripping off Bob Donaldson's photograph thought to post a picture of Wangari Maathai. Something I like very much about Dr. Maathai is she so often wears something big and decorative on her head.
The pictures of hats were a second choice, I wanted to post this interactive map, The World Map of Happiness. It's so cool, but too big a file to post. The map was made by Adrian White, Analytic Social Psychologist, University of Leicester. The Danes come out onto in terms of satisfaction with life. What makes the Danes so damn happy? White notes that happiness is most correlated with health, wealth and education. When it comes to figuring out something positive to do those three suggest what to do and why war makes me so unhappy. War! Good God, Ya'll.
Doing something positive is hard. Over the weekend I attended a meeting about the Africa Project. Without a doubt a productive meeting, but none of the tasks that lay before the group really thrill me. In particular, my stomach churns when it comes to fund raising. Nevertheless, it was great to be at the meeting if for no other reason than to meet Mbao Mwiya-Ngula, Executive Director of Project-Educate improving education in Zambia. Mbao was very kind but relentless in making the group focus on what specific positive actions we intend to do.
Angry Black Bitch is one of my favorite bloggers. There's much to admire about her. First of all she does a great job blogging about issues in St. Louis where she lives. Another thing is she's always doing something good. But most of all I love to read ABB because: "Now, don't fret...a bitch may be angry but my ass is not unkind (wink)." The bitch--I had a hard time typing that--most certainly is kind. The Rude Pundit gets linked to a lot and yes, I've been there and laughed at what I've read. But, you know, the Rude Pundit is, well--rude, so it's not a frequent stop for me. Nonetheless, taking a summer vacation, the Rude Pundit has assembled a star-studded cast of guest bloggers starting next week. Monday, July 31st Angry Black Bitch and Bitch Phd will double team for a day of "bitchitude." I'm sure to check Rude Pundit out all week long for writing by some of the blogosphere's best women writers.
I'm really not sure what to do in the face of so many problems in the world today, except to try to do something positive. I'm not sure how much help I'll be to the Africa Project, but it was very worthwhile meeting Mbao Mwinya-Ngula who really is getting something done. And the Angry Black Bitch reminds me that passion and feeling go hand in hand with doing good. It's not impossible to improve health, increase wealth, and spread education and in doing so make us all happier.