Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sound bite, channel surfing, multi-tasking

Continuing on with this theme and responding again to a discerning and probing reader. While the majority of the media is most definitely left of center, their reporting is more directed by business than bias. However, while the human interest story with the war, with VT plays out in the short term, old news is no news at all. I think the media takes that maxim literally.

While some would perhaps like retrospectives and celebration of lives pieces on the many soldiers who are needlessly being used like the fodder of so many soldiers before them. I would prefer some real thoughtful analysis of the current situation. One balancing the current state, with likely outcomes and possible mitigations. This is not a math problem with clean boundaries and provable solution. It may not even be a single chess game in a multi-game match, but something far more complicated. That is, we need to look at the larger picture, the longer time frame. We must plan our moves far in advance, and take some lessons from Sun Tzu if not Lao Tzu. We cannot continue to risk lives and put our children's mortgage up on the basis of the next election.

It is sad, tragic the many stories that you (I) read about the many casualties behind the current conflicts. Yet the vast majority of people grow tired, and in fact we all grow tired. Why with the constant drumbeat of negative, disturbing news, we see so little about what it all means? Even in the case of the VT students, where is the analysis, the in depth reporting on what the living VT students are going to do differently? What is the lesson the living take away? The dead are gone. Yes it is tragic, yes loved ones are crying...but what is it worth if we do need heed anything from it? Moreover, what does it say about us, if we make promises to live our lives differently, to change our lives because we see how short life truly may be, but summer comes, we relax on the beach, we turn the page.

Life is happy, life is tragic. It has always been that way, and before we became enamored in our ability to cheat death, it was all the more apparent. The quest of man, has always been to create meaning that lasts out of the transient and profane. So what is the meaning we make of our time?

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