Sunday, October 28, 2012

Running Silent, Nothing Happens

When you are out of touch with media, does anything really happen? If you don't hear/see the alert/storm/debate, did it really happen?

A few weeks ago my car radio was stolen again, so I am again in meditative driving mode.  I miss the Teaching Company lectures, but I am regarding this as a sort of term break.  And the radio wasn't my source of news anyway.

I'm not sure, apart from Yahoo headlines when I log on here, I have much of a source of news anyway.  Some hurricane jokes blew completely over my head this week. "So how's that hurricane, Sandy?"  (Sandy is a misspelling of my real name.)  

"Oh she's calm now," I said after meeting a critical milestone on an difficult project. "Downgraded to a tropical depression."

It was several days before I realized the jokes weren't really about ME.  There WAS a Hurricane Sandy (a Sandy Cane) building on the east coast.  Well, so far away, and we have problems of our own.  The volcano is spewing again (causing itchy eyes and asthma-like breathing even several islands away) and a tsunami alert last night caused a lot of traffic accidents.  (There was no wave to speak of, just a lot of panic and fighting at gas stations.)  Alerts can be as bad as the real thing.

A friend on Maui who lives in the "inundation zone"called me during the alert period. She'd loaded up her car with all her meds, checkbooks, mobile devices, and was waiting it out on higher ground.  Her boat captain SO was a mile out at sea riding it out.  

It would have to be a HUGE tsunami, Biblical proportions as they say, to affect my living area.  The only thing I consider a real threat is that punk Kim Jong-un and his toy army. Did you know the country has an official website?

I'd been watching a movie, The Silent War, with Tiny Tony Leung (Chiu Wai) in his second role as a blind man (that I know of).
"Stop staring at me," she said. "I'm not staring, I'm blind," he said.
Blind Swordsman
Not a swordsman this time (at right), but a blind piano tuner recruited as a spy by a People's Republic of China agency doing intelligence work against the Nationalists just post-1949.  At least in Ashes of Time you could see his eyes, which are two of his most endearing features. (And his hair wasn't cut like Kim Jong-un's.) In this one he was always wearing shades, or a blindfold, or cloudy contacts to simulate damaged corneas, or bandages after he gouged out his surgically corrected eyes.  Seeing had conflicted with his hearing.  There was some sort of ethical/moral thing going on, but without any Oedipal connotations, I think.

Anyway, in the middle of The Silent War, I chatted with my friend.  Since I haven't turned on broadcast or cable television in months, I was at a loss to discuss the debates (I know who I'm voting for); the related satire of Stewart and Colbert;  the analysis of MacNeil-Lehrer (although isn't one of them dead?).  Fortunately since I have acquired a bad cold, which I attribute to vog,  temperature inversion, and stress, I had an excuse to not really say anything.  I can barely breathe let alone comment on politics.  

So morning after the non-tsunami, I suppose I could poke around and find out what's happening on that East Coast, (or even in Alaska where the earthquake that generated the non-tsunami originated).  Or I could ignore it. Someone is bound to tell me about it tomorrow. And it won't make a difference to me at all.  Like none of it ever happened.  Not listening.