October 10th, 2021

The Ozymandias Factor (Reboot)

Completed the dreaded To Do list item. It was, at the same time, both easier and harder to do than I had anticipated. The ease was the logistics; the hard was the memories and emotional associations the task dredged up.

But anyway, it’s done.

Go me.

###

Over morning coffee, I read that Lebanon’s electrical grid has collapsed.

This news filled me with the weirdest feeling.

As recently as the 1970s, Beitrut was the Middle East’s center for finance and banking, a playground for wealthy Arabs and Westerners alike. Fifty years really isn’t so very long ago—although I get that it may seem so to people young enough so that half a century is not a fraction of their lifetime.

Once again, I am reminded how I ended up in Sarajevo some time in the late 1960s. Some pals and I were traveling overland to Greece; Sarajevo is where the van broke down: We stayed a couple of days.

I remember being utterly flabbergasted by how sleek, and Western, and modern the little city looked! I mean, it was spelled funny, right? Didn’t that mean it should be old-fashioned and exotic? (In my defense, I should mention I was still in my late teens at the time.)

I wandered around for a couple of days. The city actually ended up reminding me of Oakland—not the tech-Bro paradise that Oakland is today but the shabby industrial city that Oakland was while I was going to UCB and for which I have considerably more affection.

Anyway, I was quite stunned when in the early 1990s, Sarajevo became Ground Zero for a brutal civil war. Everything was blown up. The city was practically razed.

How could this happen there?

I imagine observers of the London Blitz got a similar hit.

When it happens, it’s gonna happen fast. And it will happen.

Call it the Ozymandias Factor.

We flip through 1,500 channels of streaming entertainment without ever really finding anything we want to watch.

But some primeval cautionary instinct whispers, Toilet paper! Hoard it.

So, it’s not as though we can pretend we don’t know.

###

What else?

Mostly, I labored over the Remunerative Project in Process yesterday.

It was cold and grey, so I was disinclined to leave the house.

It’s cold and grey today, too, but one mustn’t encourage incipient agoraphobia, so I will go tromping though likely I will hate every moment of it. Crossposted from Dreamwidth.