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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Global events

I'm not usually in the slightest bit interested in US elections, but this one's got me excited. It feels like 1997 all over again, when Labour won a landslide majority, bringing them back into power after years of Tory rule.

I've been mightily impressed by what I've seen of Obama, such a refreshing change from the usual suspects. I've been thinking today how perhaps we actually needed eight years of the idiot Bush, to ensure that Obama got elected. I knew this cloud would have a silver lining.

I'm struck by the amount of truly international news there is at the moment. Elections, economic turmoil, Chinese food scares With my starting to teach again, I decided that I wanted to be a bit more in touch with world events that I have been for the past few years, in order to be able to discuss 'stuff' with my students. It's been an easy change to make: I subscribed to the Guardian news feed on my iPhone, and set the BBC as my homepage.

I don't find myself getting down about these things though. The global economic meltdown is pretty exciting in a way. I like the fact that there are calls for widespread change. It's a healthy reminder that even the seemingly unchangeable can be changed if there is sufficient will. I see it a bit like a natural bush fire, clearing the ground for new growth. Obviously I'm not celebrating the fact that it's hit some of my friends pretty hard (especially those with mortgages), but in the long run they'll be fine. I like to see a big shake-up. Anything is possible. (Of course I'm probably slightly biased, having profited from a side-effect of the slump, that being Sterling hitting rock bottom earlier in the week).

I am saddened and shocked by the more 'important' news stories. For some reason, I don't see these in the headlines. The many civil wars, the horrendous trampling of basic human rights, the killings in the name of some god or other. I was catching up with some BBC podcasts today, namely From our Own Correspondent. This long-running series provides a real insight into how Big News events are affecting people on the ground. It can be pretty harrowing, but I think is important for me to be aware. Being aware plays an important part in my maintaining my feeling of gratitude. And of course, it also shapes my actions.

Anyway, it's time for bed. i have a date with Komozawa koen in about 6 hours. *Twinkle*s been in bed all evening with sickness and severe stomach cramps, poor love. I hope she'll be feeling better in the morning.


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