Not for artists and musicians

If I were a painter, I would travel the world and paint everything. I would paint bare walls, naked sidewalks, children’s faces… with all sorts of beautiful scenes of animals and trees and mountains. There is too much ugliness in the world. Let’s remind people that beauty exists!

If I were a musician, I would wander the world making music. I’d play guitar and make up silly songs to make people laugh. I would play in the dark alleyways, lonely bus stops, run-down apartment complexes, busy parking lots, and city parks. There is too much ugliness in the world. Let’s remind people that beauty exists!

But alas, I am no artist, neither am I a musician. I haven’t the skill or creativity or materials or teacher or time to do such things. Or, most importantly, the courage — the nerve to play music or make art in surprising places, where people all stare at you, some with annoyance and some with happiness. No. I haven’t got that. I can just write. And in this limited mode of existence on this dark blog in the corner of the internet, I hope to do something. Something revolutionary. Something that needs to be said.

Democracy deflating itself

Egypt’s people democratically elected an undemocratic man to be president, then deposed of him in an undemocratic way to democratically elect someone else. The United States is using undemocratic means to protect itself from the enemies of democracy by tapping everyone’s private information. Turkey elected a leader who takes away their freedoms. The Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq cannot decide whether President Barzani is allowed by the constitution to run for a third term. No one knows if he can, so the Parliament unilaterally chose that the elections should be postponed two years for them to figure it out – Barzani being president that whole time. Anti-democratic forces are alive and well in the world. But democracies are their own worst enemy.