cooper dot se.

this page is called cooper.se because it represents much of my thought since studying for a semester in sweden in the spring of 2005. this thought process has continued on down to the beginnings of my real adult life....what comes next? let's talk about it....and many other things of course.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

On Apocalyptic Musings

Dear friends, I would like to share with you today, one of the perils of a curious mind such as my own. It has to do with imagining apocalyptic situations. What, exactly, is an apocalyptic situation? From Merriam Webster, apocalyptic is defined as "forecasting the ultimate destiny of the world." How is it that I seem to find mmyself involved in such a lofty proposition?

Each of the last few times that I have returned home to Tucson from school, I always find myself with time on my hands. Often, I use this time to read about subjects of interest. This usually involves current events, different countries of the world, some literature, and plenty of history. Quite often, I find these all coming together in my mind to create many apocalyptic situations.

You want examples, do you? Well, two years ago, I had just finished my sophomore year of college and I was getting excited and ready for a trip to South Korea. I spent hours and hours reading books about the history of Korea, the war, the division, the current economic "miracle" in the south and then went and saw it on my own. Often, as I read through page after page about this sadly-divided nation, I kept imagining how one day, hostilities would cease, two separate flags would become one, two governments one, and two people divided for so long would be one nation. Capitalism would take care of the poor northerners plight.

And it seemed reasonable. But each day I would think again about the sad status quo and I would hang my head, yet still hope for the best.

Last Christmas break, when I started using this blog more often, my attention shifted to the terrible situation in Iraq. I could read the writing on the wall and watched as, each day, the situation grew more and more dire. I was amazed that I could learn about what was going on by reading blogs that Iraqis had written. See my "Blogs I Read" section to find some of them. Again, the more I read about Iraq and its history and status quo, the more I would keep imagining how great it will be one day. How one day I will fly there to meet some of my online friends, will sit in the sunshine on the sidewalk and smoke hookah, discussing the horrors of the past and the beauty of the present. But alas, each day the news tried to keep me from imagining this.

Other times, like the Christmas right before I went to Sweden, I turned my attention to Europe and the world as a whole, imagining everyone working together, using sustainable, non-polluting energy, not wasting away the earth, not exploiting each other, and everyone doing their part to help everyone else have a better standard of living without a cost to the environment. Often my apocalyptic thoughts would be accompanied by futily wishing certain things in the past hadn't happened, such as the horrors of war, especially the horror in Iraq since 2003 and the sad division of Korea in 1953.

This summer, I have some of these thoughts mixed in, especially as I try to imagine myself as part of the world, now that I have graduated from college and am trying to figure out where I fit in.

However, because of the amount of time I have had on my hands this summer, I have used some of my thinking on more trivial matters, namely, my beloved Chicago Cubs. Often, I would find myself dwelling on events in the past, such as how the Cubs have only won the World Series twice, in 1907 and 1908, and how they lost it in 1906, 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938 and 1945, despite my wishes that the past could change. By the way, they have not been back since 1945, despite a close call in 2003. So yes, I go over events in the past, wishing they could change, but I also look forward to the future, when the Cubs will win the World Series and the entire city of Chicago will disintegrate from happiness and the Cubs become the team against whom all others are measured.

I can keep imagining. The funny thing however, is that given the current state of the World, including the Korean peninsula, the 2006 Cubs season, the capitalist system currently in place, the country of Iraq and the Middle East as a whole, I don't think any of my apocalyptic musings are any more likely to happen than any others. That is the sad part, but then again, if I only were to dwell on things that just might happen in my lifetime, these thoughts would not be apocalyptic musings, and it does not take much of an imagination for those, does it?

Here's to the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, to Iraq, Lebanon and Israel living in peace, to Indonesians designing automobiles and Americans making clothing, to Koreans meeting their long-lost brothers and sisters, and to the world living at peace.

Currently Reading
When Chicago Ruled Baseball: The Cubs-White Sox World Series of 1906
By Bernard A. Weisberger
see related

3 Comments:

  • At Sunday, July 23, 2006 9:58:00 PM, Blogger honna said…

    this is a very interesting post. i enjoyed it. i laughed at the 'honna teaches rich kids' post. i need to post something good soon. i just write about random little things. next post will be some coherent attempt at some statement. right.

     
  • At Saturday, July 29, 2006 9:50:00 PM, Blogger S.O.Mebody said…

    Dear Cooper,
    You have a very wide ranging mind and a deep affection for people everywhere. You put things very well. About North Korea, I would regard that as "unfinished business" left over from the time of the colapse of the Communist states of Eastern Europe. When from 1989 onwards we lived through the disintegration of Communism in Eastern Europe, it was like a miracle (It WAS a miracle). The system seemed so entrenched, Soviet arms so pervasive, that it seemed that nothing short of a Third World War could bring about change. And yet change occured in the most peaceful way possible, the Berlin Wall crumbled, as if it were made of papie mache,whereas for four decades previously it had been cemented out of blood. The fall of the Wall was brough about by many: Pope John Paul II , Lech Walensa and Solidarity, all the peoples of Eastern Europe, Gorbachov, though that had not been his original intention: but one person who has not got sufficent credit was Ronald Regan. Though I don't believe everything he did in his foreign policy as President was right, in the game of Political Poker with the Soviet Union he produced the most brilliant bluff possible, where the Soviets had absolutely no idea it was a bluff. It was over Star Wars, that Nuclear defensive sheild, which America was supposed to have. Something certainly existed, but I do not believe that it was in any way full-proof, and yet in his talks in Rekiavik with Gorbi President Regan acted as if he really genuinuely believed it was a complete shield making offensive nuclear weapons as obsolete as a toy catapult. At one point he said, "it's so good lets give it to the Russians, then we will have nothing to fear from each other." Then his advisers rushed up and said "No no , Mr. President, you can't do that," and then Reagan, actor that he was, said "oops sorry, it seems I can't do that". But then, what happened was, that Gobachov could go to his hard liners and generals and say: "We cannot compete with Star Wars, already we are almost bankrupted by the need to have all this Nuclear Weaponry, if we cannot hope to defeat America, then we will have to change, and appear as less of a threat to her." After Seventy Six years of Communism, Russia found herself if not exactly a democracy,then something very close. And then it was China's turn. But the Communist party had already abandoned much of the economic ideology, but there was still firmly the "dictatorship of" (not "the proletariat", but) "the party". So when Tienenman came they were ready, but one day the Godess of Democracy will live again on the Square of Heavenly Peace. For Democracy can only be delayed, but cannot be stopped. And so to North Korea, a coutry ruled by a hereditary Communist, locked into hunger, tyranny and exlusion from the outside world. North Korea may occasionally threaten, but the lives of the priviledged few, are so comfortable, that it would mean loosing too much to every really carry anything through into serious aggression. So North Korea is this hollow country, waiting to implode, waiting for South Korea to pick up the pieces, exactly as you describe. With Iraq, the future may be difficult. Evetually the inborn need of all peoples everywhere, for freedom to a happy unmolested life must prevail. History shows us this. It shows us also that the course towards such freedom is not easy and not smooth, but in the long run it is inevitable. Every decade for the past hundred years, shows that the number of countries in the world with a system that truely respects the rights of the individual has been ever increasing. And with the ever greater growth in communication, of which the internet has such a vital part to play, it is more and more a case of "How you gonna keep em down on the (prison) farm, once they have seen Pari."

    Yours in Peace and Harmony

    "Memoirs-of-somebody"

     
  • At Wednesday, August 23, 2006 11:58:00 PM, Blogger EdoRiver said…

    Cooper,
    You visited my blog!!!!!
    So, I am returning the favor. You asked if I teach English in Japan. Yes. I have been trying for 13 years almost. The results are debatable.
    I should send you an email, but this is quicker.
    You can see my picture now. I just uploaded it, So I found your comments.
    I am trying to figure out how to attach my picture to my blog id.


    Personal note: I just spent about $20.00 on junk food, pure junk food for my family to survive on for the next 24-36 hours until Sarah gets her univ. application filled out, and Sho gets off to Australia for a week.

     

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