Tag Archives: israel

Is it just me, or does anybody else feel woefully unprepared for the world we’re now living in?

Man, there doesn’t seem too much left to say about it all, because we’re all heavily addicted to our media of choice, telling us the version of the world around us that corresponds most to the world view to which we’ve already subscribed. Orwell’s Newspeak seems to be the lingua franca of this brave new world, and history is indeed repeating, though the stakes are higher, seeing as how the powers that be now have godly powers, the ability to take decisions about the environment or international conflicts that render the future of humanity and the planet as we know it obsolete.

Suffice it to say, for whatever number of reasons, I never thought it could get this bad.

I’m writing from a hostel in Jerusalem; tomorrow I’ll make my way to Gaza. The last several months have been a whirlwind of wonderful and terrible, and this place seems so appropriate to the narrative of my life this year. I’m still hopelessly in love with the city I’ve called home in 2016, though it’s looking increasingly likely it won’t be home too far into the new year. Work is excellent on so many levels: I’m working with the most intelligent, dedicated team I’ve ever had the pleasure to collaborate with; it’s an honour to call the organisations we work with partners; I’m constantly challenged and learning and realising how very much more there is to learn, how very many more challenges lie ahead.

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An Open Letter to President Obama: What will you do?

Firstly, a disclaimer:  the following letter reflects some pretty strong opinions of the U.S. of A., and is likely to ruffle more than a few feathers.  I would (probably) never ask my readers not to comment, and I’m certainly not doing so now, but in this case I’ll only say that I’ll refrain from replying to any comments – I’ll have had my say in the words that follow.  And if you’re not in the mood for politics or…ahem…a good rant, may as well give this one a miss.  Thanks as always for reading me.

Source: Black Coughenour via Wikimedia Commons


Dear Mr. President,

It is now seven years since I left the United States of America with the express intention of passing the remainder of my life as the resident of Somewhere Else.  In the space of this letter, I will make two generalizations about my fellow U.S. American citizens, and the first is this:  we all have complicated relationships with our nation.  I am no different.  I do not hate the United States; on the contrary, I in fact love it so deeply, I could no longer go on living in it.


My existential disappointments in this life have been many.  Like more and more of us, I struggle to contend with my humanity in the face of human behavior.  I struggle to find a reasonable balance in the never-ending battle of human Good versus Evil, in which Good is too often suffocated by the unbearable weight of hatred, cruelty and greed.  The paradox of the United States is almost overwhelming in this respect.  It is at once the acme of the European lust for conquest – arguably among the purest examples of Evil the world has yet seen – and the promise for which every last sentient human being who wakes up in the morning does so:  Hope.

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Even good things come in 3’s

I’ve never done this before, but it isn’t often that I’ve got a book, a movie, and a song I think EVERYONE ALIVE should read / see / hear…

So these are not reviews…suffice it to say that I truly feel more in tune with the world around me for having been exposed to them…and that’s not to say that it was all easy to take in.

First, the book:

Insofar as is possible, this is simply an exposé.  Foer endeavors to avoid any deeply emotive reactions, although I imagine that in his journey to create the book there were some decidedly emotional moments. It’s chock-full of data and facts…and there are about 30 pages at the back devoted exclusively to endnotes and source material.

The movie:

This film came out almost exactly 2 years ago.  I know.  I’m not exactly “with it” anymore.  Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, please do.  The imagery is breathtaking…Yann Arthus-Bertrand is a force.

And the song:

Most of you will know Lush, the delectable brand of cosmetics that is notoriously ethical in all it does…they are currently promoting the song by asking people to help get it to the top of the charts.  Not gonna lie – this one’s a tear-jerker…

And just a disclaimer…these plugs come from Ann exclusively…though I’m sure Chris will agree they’re all groovy, I can tell you that he hasn’t yet read the book, he’d probably giggle at me for sending out word about a 2-year old movie, and he hasn’t yet heard the song.  This was my whim-post…

And if any of you has had the chance, or gets the chance to indulge in any of these, please let me know your thoughts.


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