Events occasionally occur in life in ways that all but disarm us. Matters seemingly quite small, even trivial, enter our consciousness, and leave only faint impressions. Then, unexpectedly, whole worlds of meaning come spinning our way.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je's booboos this week in remarks about the gift of a pocket watch from the United Kingdom's Minister of State for Transport will hang in the clouds for a spell of time not yet determined.
2015/2/1, 2 Comments
Just the other morning I read of someone trying to do two things at the same time, and winding up making a big mess of everything. It was a guy, I remember, and he was driving a car and, now, what was he trying to do while driving that car? I forget. I know it was a man, not a woman.
Slow but steady progress has come as I've continued to plow this past week through a mountain of mini-papers (we call them "reflective journals") my American Literature students have turned in. They hope to get them back on the night of our final exam.
On Jan. 1, all sorts of stuff collided in an odd exchange involving President Ma Ying-jeou and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je at a flag-raising ceremony to mark the start of 2015. Am I the only one hoping this goof-up was not an omen of things to come? Am I the only one who even remembers the story?
I have never written an obituary, and do not plan to try to write one here. In my view, an "obit" is mostly about the past. It speaks of someone's life now having come to an end. An obituary reviews a few milestones of that person's story, and tells us in an apparently objective way why we might want to remember her or him.
Back in 1711, satirist Alexander Pope wrote only half-humorously in his Essay on Criticism that "Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread."
In some ways the flap about former Korean Air executive vice-president Cho Hyun-ah and an on-board snack seems too trivial for media attention. After all, I am quite sure that every flight attendant in the world could tell story after story about hard-to-please customers and silly antics on airplanes.
I once heard of a scenario in which an American professor at a foreign university asked his students to compose a list of at least 15 problems their country faced. I was shocked. The homework might as well have been: "Make a long list of things that are wrong with your country."
I do not know if other cultures are as obsessed with surveys as ours seems to be, but I do know most surveys I read of affect me very little. For a survey to touch me, it's got to practically hit me in the forehead.
2014/12/7, 1 Comment