Elie Fares (on terror and relativity)

This makes me squirm. It makes me angry. I wish I could say that I was NOT like most people in the so-called developed world, but I was. Bombs in a Beirut street, scores dead, families and communities devastated, made far less impact on me than did the subsequent massacre in Paris. Media attention? Sure, I could blame the media, but as somebody who’s allegedly a world citizen — a Canadian guy trying to learn how to see all human beings as I’d regard my own family — I was stung by the truth of what Mr. Fares wrote, as reported in a challenging New York Times article. Are lives in a context that I somehow feel is closer to mine, in a city where I’ve visited, worth more to me than west Asian ones? Searing question, dangerous times. Apparently, the sufferings of a divided and confused humanity will not be confined to “those parts of the world”…

“When my people died, no country bothered to light up its landmarks in the colors of their flag. When my people died, they did not send the world into mourning. Their death was but an irrelevant fleck along the international news cycle, something that happens in those parts of the world.”

Elie Fares is a young Lebanese doctor and writer. This is only a small piece of his thoughtful, angry, truthful observations in a November 14 blog post. He’s not demeaning the pain of Paris, but challenging its exclusivity.

Sheesh. Gotta love a little global consciousness in NFL stadia. "French Lives Matter", I guess, is better than if they *don't*, but if even SportsCorp is doing it, there's obviously something missing...

Sheesh. Gotta love a little global consciousness in NFL stadia, right?. “French Lives Matter”, I guess, is better than if they *don’t*, but if even SportsCorp is doing it, there’s obviously something missing…


2013 in Review: The Great Eighteen. Writing you can READ.

The last time I compiled a “Best of Howdy” list, for 2012, it was easier. I browsed through the year’s posts, remembered some things I liked, whittled it down to 10, gave a brief description, done. This time I tried to get more scientific, more democratic, and it’s been a mess. Not a lot of people responded to my invitation to submit favourites of the year, but they were some of my best readers and it was satisfying to hear about posts they liked. But.

My correspondents were far from unanimous in their preferences, and often those didn’t match the things I’d have chosen. And now that I have slightly more sophisticated analytics, I can easily check which posts had the most page views, which was often a completely different list from mine or the sometimes-odd choices of my panellists. A blogger’s work is never done. All this did cause extra work, but it was good thinking – along with the sidebar reflections that my Choice Readers had made – about what I’ve done, what worked and didn’t, and especially about what got read, and how. As it turns out, a tour of these will give you a pretty good idea of what I’m on (and off) about.

So here it is, again in the form of a quick trip through the Howdy catalogue. And I know: eighteen posts? Well, I plead indecision, for one thing, but it’s hard to choose among your children. There were 128 of them birthed on for 2013; also I reached my 500th post overall. Not a bad year, I’m not afraid to admit it.¹

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(Never Forget. But.)

BLURT 11: We all remember on big anniversaries. ‘Never forget’ does ring less hollow when the horror is but a decade old. But few see 9-11 as the toxic symbol it is: the toxicity of privilege and resentment, the disease of disunity, the pathology of meaningful futures sought without meaningful changes in outlook or decadent practices.