So many serious things are on my mind tonight I almost don't know where to start -- in a sense none of it is personal, and in a sense all of it is personal. I will only mention three.
To begin with the ugliest: I say the documentary film about Emmett Till this afternoon. I had known the story that was a catalyst in the civil rights movement but this documentary showed a picture of him in his casket after his mother was heard describing many of his wounds. The extreme brutality was shocking. I know brutality goes on at all times somewhere in the world but my imagination cannot manage to understand how anyone can so mutilate another person. His murderers did not even know the boy. What they did was from some blood lust, some massive perversion of humanity. And they were acquitted by the jury and eventually died "natural" deaths of cancer. I find some consolation in knowing that the civil rights movement gained many victories although prejudice still exists in this country even in this liberal area as some people in the audience recounted.
The most exciting is that I just watched the You Tube video reading of the statement of the protesters in the park on Wall Street. I signed the solidarity petition yesterday for what tiny bit that is worth. I am delighted a movement has begun to protest and hope it will be picked up all across the country. The statement is very inclusive; I'd be happy if this turned into a movement as big as the anti-Vietnam war movement of the '60s. It's way past time to push back at the corporations and financial institutions.
The saddest was Steve Job's death at such a young age. Almost since I have began working on a PC I have been aware that Mac computers inspired a special fanatical devotion among their users. I did not get one until about five years ago but I have become a dedicated fan as well. I copied a part of the address Jobs gave at Stanford in 2005. I don't know if he already knew he was fighting cancer, perhaps not, but he was a serious man, focused on individuality. This is some of what he said:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.
“And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
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