When a football match is playing in Jamaica, you know. The other day I was in the doctor’s office with my son waiting. A football game was on and a crowd was watching. And all of a sudden both my son and I jumped in response to loud screams and yells. I guess someone had scored a goal. The enthusiasm here is unparalleled, like most things in Jamaica, there is never a shortage of passion. Flags are everywhere, the roads are quiet at certain times. And there are intermittent screaming sessions. I have to remind myself that it is football, not some bloody murder going on.
This is a long paragraph, but it is worth a read in these backward times. It is from Hannah Arendt’s On Totalitarianism.
Interesting…someone on Twitter just pointed out this Tweet from the US Embassy here in Jamaica. Seems incongruent with the current administration’s actions…good for them.
A trip to the zoo, where the plastic zebra was better than the real animals.
Found some toys from my childhood.
My husband seems to have built the world’s most tiny, perfect yet useless storage space.
As a student of political science, I spent countless hours sitting down (sometimes I read and walked) reading texts: essays, books, articles, magazines, etc. And I mean hours. Many of the other students would joke about how they never read any of the texts and achieved a high mark. I was never one of those. I read EVERY WORD of EVERY assigned text. Sure, there were some times when I fell short, but not many. And this includes fat books of 600 pages, Plato and Aristotle texts. Those are not easy to get through. But I have a reverence for the written word. And a reverence for the ways in which human beings try to govern themselves, try to divide power, try to protect the vulnerable and try to share resources.
With this type of study comes a necessary acknowledgment: Yes, human beings (mostly men, sorry to say) have screwed up a lot of things in their political endeavors. Most things, actually. But I do believe it is still essential to approach power and who holds it with sense of history and a sense of respect.
This is why the video the Trump administration showed to North Korean President Kim Jong Un so deeply troubling. To this point, I have fretted and anguished and gotten angry, but this is a turning point for me.
The video is basically a movie trailer with Kim Jong Un and Trump as the stars. Clearly, Trump is still trying to achieve his version of the American Dream: a television idol with the highest ratings, and a businessman who has closed the ultimate deal. He sees politics like a businessman, rather than a diplomat with an understanding of the nuances of respecting other cultures and the necessary incremental progress. This would be fine, because everyone possesses an ideology, if you can call that an ideology.
But when you have so little comprehension of the world and the state of its people that you see yourself as a movie star in a trailer, along with your adversary, this not a matter of an idiot running the office. This is a matter of a man who is putting millions of lives at stake, reducing negotiations with a dictator who is starving, torturing and denying basic human rights to millions, to a Hollywood scene.
As a student of politics and as a human being who is passionate about protecting basic human rights, this is extremely unsettling and distressing. It should be a call to action.
Check out this feature in British Vogue on Calabash, the literary festival.