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The Year of Not Buying In

posted at 8:03 pm
on Feb. 14, 2008

Comments: 1 so far



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Since the beginning of 2008, there have been several themes people have told me would be prevalent this year.

“The Year of Leisure” was one I rather liked.  “The Year of Getting Serious” was another, tinged slightly with omen.

But very few people that I know made New Year’s Resolutions.  That tradition seems to have fallen by the wayside.  Martin Luther King Jr. day, too, went by without my except twitter comments in acknowledgment.  And when Groundhog’s Day came and went with nary a mention, I noticed its lack of notice.

Then, today. Valentine’s Day.  The circle of people I know, did they celebrate it?  Nope, not really. “Hallmark made it,” said the drive-time radio host I was listening to.  “Just a chance for people to find fault with each other’s generosity,” said a fellow I was in a meeting with.

Holidays—not necessarily a bellwether test, I know.  But birthdays as well have seemed devalued in the past two months.  Enthusiasm for charity, for activity groups, has dropped in the conversations I’ve had.

And here’s my ultimate worry. If this is in fact the year of cruising past, dropping out, or just not buying in, it couldn’t come at a worse time.  The U.S. presidential election needs a lot of attention this year.


I also wanted to mention global warming.  Where to start? (And actually, isn’t that the question—where to start?)

I think one of the biggest problems with the environmental movement, is that their naming of issues sucks.  “Global warming” sounds rather pleasant.  Who could be against that?  Call it “global heating” or even better “global burning” and now you’ve got yourself something to worry about.

And “Save the planet”—it’s not even accurate.  The planet is going to be fine.  The planet, we’re not going to do much more than wipe out all life.  Earth will still be there, spinning and tilting and so forth.  How about something more like “Save yourselves!” or “Save your family!” or “Save nature or you won’t have anything to eat”—again, that’s the motivational angle I think current eco-vocab is lacking.



Previous entry:
Troubles on the Home Front

Next entry:
We Got the Call


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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