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January 02, 2005

A Reason ... Make that an Explanation ... for Staying in Bed

I read an ABC/Washington Post Poll this morning (not that I give much credence to polls, especially after the 2004 election, and certainly well before). But this one had to do with optimism in the new year. Personal optimism is down 19 points from the same time last year; world optimism is down 15 points. Personal fear is up 18 points, while world fear is up 16 points. Democratic women (of which I am one) are "most glum. Fewer than half are hopeful about their own prospects and more than 6 in 10 are fearful about the world in the coming year." And 51% of men and women are more pessimistic about the war in Iraq (this, to me, isn't necessarily bad news).

My good friend calls her upcoming trip to Tanzania "getting out of Dodge." She and her husband are looking forward to this new adventure, seeing Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, and teaching children and adults for the next three months, trying to accomplish some good in the world. "Getting out of Dodge," however, sums up their disappointment of last November's election and their feelings about the war. In my view, a lot better idea than moving to Canada.

Tsunami … the feeling of futility knows no bounds. Donating to relief efforts doesn't even come near to overcoming the devastating emotion of this tremendous devastation of lives. In the meantime, I am still personally troubled that I have not seen images of Americans holding candlelight vigils, or attending church services, or laying flowers at an embassy somewhere. We saw this kind of mournful symbolism throughout Asia and Europe after 9/11.

As my husband often says, "attitude is established from the top down." Bush didn't come out of his vacation ranch for several days after the Tsunami disaster and only when prodded by someone who called us "stingy." I swore I heard on NPR the day of the Tsunami disaster that Colin Powell promised $100,000 in relief funds … no one believed me. Only today did Colin Powell explain what my husband called the "petty cash" disbursement process on Meet the Press, and I did hear correctly. It makes me think that our Secretary of State announced the hundred grand on purpose, to get someone to call us "stingy." Only today did Bush announce flags should be at half-mast for all of next week (what about last week?).

So, only two days into the new year, and I spent about 18 hours of it in bed. Wecome 2005.

Posted by Gadflygirl at January 2, 2005 01:30 PM


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