Saturday, August 28, 2004

The story so far

Trip to Alishan. Eating. Typhoon. Eating. Return. Reading. Sleep. Typhoon. No DSL connection. Reading. Cleaning. Eating. Shopping. Hanging with friends. No DSL. Sleep. Prayer. Cleaning. Eating. Shopping. Shipping. Reading. Hanging with friends. No DSL. Sleep. Prayer. Working out. Eating. Internet cafe. Present.

It's been much less of a hassle than I might expect having no Internet for a few days. I've come to realize (or re-realize, or re-re-realize) the Internet is just a tool, not a hobby (for me at least), and certainly not a necessity. And no healthy person stares at a screwdriver or hammer for hours a day. Even once Chungwa Telecom returns my DSL from the typhoon battered grave, I hope to cut back on my tool-watching.

Not much "substance" to report. It's been a wonderful break before the fall semester starts. Saw *Count of Monte Cristo* (eh), *Big Fish* (hm) and *Ice Age* (wee, finally!). Reading _The Face_ by Daniel McNeill. The bulk of the shipping got done, but was way more expensive and difficult than I anticipated, so I held off on a few items.

I'm in a rather vacant state of mind these days. I'm thoughtful, but it's mostly running below the surface. There's much on my mind, and yet not much at all. I'm in a quiet mood, online and off.

A final thought, of substance: I spoke with my dad today on the phone (mark the calendar!) and I realized that we (USAmericans) raise our children for economic fitness the same way the Spartans raised kids for military advantage. I won't go into detail now, but I am increasingly aware of the US tendency to whittle life down to a young-adult-to-middle-age idealized meadian range. In addition to rubbing out the old end of the stick with the scouring pad of euthanasia and institutionalized benign neglect, we are pressing the upper limit of youth farther and farther back, robbing children of any protective barrier between true childishness and adulthood. And I'm very inclined to believe this erasure of life's outer limits is meant for the good of the market. We are economic Spartans. Insular, focused, peculiar and prepped for battle.

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