Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A couple of things

- I'm heading down to the Covenant Annual Meeting tomorrow through Saturday, so I don't know if I'll be blogging anything over the next few days. I do look forward to seeing some old friends and maybe making some new ones. We're staying with my aunt and uncle in Tigard, so should have some good family time. And I hear Bruce and Katy are up from Turlock. . .

- Today was, I think, one of the final visits to the eye doctor for awhile. We've arrived at the place where it's about as good as it's gonna get. I had to accept that, due to the nature of this corneal thing, it just won't ever be perfect and pain-free. The lens that's in now is the lesser of all evils, according to Dr. Ralph. It gets me to 20/25 vision, and it mostly stays where it's supposed to. Although if I look to the right, it has a tendency to pop out. So if you want to sneak up on me, come from the right, as I won't be looking that way much. He did say technology is moving along rapidly, and hopefully in another 10 years they might be able to do a transplant that will take care of the whole thing. So until then, we make do.

- If I was a sociologist, this is what I'd study: It seems we've become a society who expect to have private moments in public spaces. There was an article in the P-I the other day about a park near Pike Place Market that is famous for two things: being a huge draw to tourists because of the view, and being a haven for homeless people, including many drug addicts. The arguments fly back and forth - compassion and understanding for the homeless vs. lock 'em all up so we can have a nice clean park. But I think, underlying it all, is the assumption that "I" can go to a public park and have a private little time there, not having to put up with other people, especially people I don't particularly care for. In reading the comments under this article, I sensed this idea again and again. "I should be able to go to a park and not have to be bothered by other people." The fact that they are homeless is merely a mask for the underlying feeling that public space should become private space.

I know it's not this way in other cultures. You go out in public to interact with the public. I don't think it was this way in America all that long ago - whenever we went camping we made the effort to meet our neighbors. But more and more, we are autonomous individuals assuming we can make our way through public space without having to interact with others (think ipods). And it comes to a head here - I should be able to go to the park and have my little time there and not have to have any interaction with others.

Anyway, I need to think it through more. Maybe you can comment and spur my thinking more.

As to the article in the other Seattle Paper about the Episcopalian Priest who claims also to be a Muslim. . .it's been too long a day to comment.

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