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Thursday, September 02, 2004

New counting song?

I could think only of counting songs like A Partridge in a Pear Tree - or the Pesach favorite, Chad Gadya - when I read this paragraph from Belmont Club, as quoted by Rick Richman:
The seizure of 200 schoolchildren and their parents in Russia, for a total of perhaps 400, presumably by Chechen terrorists . . . 12 Nepalis executed in Iraq; 2 French journalists held hostage in Iraq; 16 killed in twin bus bombing attacks in Israel; 10 dead in a bombing attack on a Moscow subway. . . .

The dichotomy illustrates the worlds we are forced to somehow straddle. In my one world, it's a beautiful day in Colorado, my son's printer leaked ink all over his winter coat, it's Lisa's 49th birthday and I really need to sit down and pay the bills. In my simultaneous, other, "anti"-world, I grieve for the murdered Jews of Be'er Sheva, am afraid for those Osetian schoolchildren in the Caucasus, nervous for Eric, Peter & Cheryl, Hookey & Joel - all on the coast in Florida, worried about the possibility of a Kerry presidency, and terrified of the implications of Iran's plans to restart its centrifuges.

One of the few things that keep me from going over the edge, from one world irretrievably into the other, is the blogosphere -- where people like Stan work without pay to let us know what's going on Beslan, people like Rick spend thoughtful time and energy on the question of "which way is forward?" and people like LaShawn take the trouble to call us to our moral senses.

My son finds all the world's tensions enlightening; he says that now you can really see what people are made of.

Let us all be made of good, strong stuff. If we are generous with it, we can learn the new counting songs and still straddle any number of worlds.