July 16, 2007 00:05 | Culture

Revisiting an old curse

A supposed chinese curse goes "may you live in interesting times."

First of all, we need to update this to "may you live in an interesting time and place," as surely there are always "interesting" things going on somewhere.

By interesting, it is meant "where things are happening," sous-entendu some sort of considerable upheaval, like war or profound societal changes.

To be frank, that isn't much of a curse in my eyes. There is nothing so mind numbingly boring and soul draining as a stable, well fed, content society, selfishly pursuing "happiness." "May you live in comfortable times" seems to me a much more damning pronouncement, let alone situation to find oneself in.

I should rant about the navel-gazing idiocy most of us find ourselves in, were it not for my own lack of the fortitude required to drop into a war-zone, just to get a taste of what being alive really means.

There is no room for the thinking man in a quasi-utopia; the artist reduced to carnival clown feeding on the scraps presented to him on a silver platter at the feast. When the layers of abstraction are painted on so thick, how can he begin to see what is real?

I live in a comfortable time and place, and I am damned. And I damn myself by staying here.


I think you live in or near my neighborhood (judging by the pics). It's a comfortable place...but change is always going on. It wasn't like this 10 years ago, and it won't be like it again in 10 more. You're here now and I happen to be too. It's great now. But it may or may not be in the future. Some people think it sucks now too, compared to how it was...others can't wait for it to change even more into what they want (or need). Either way, here and now is gone tomorrow.

I just got here from far away. To me it's very foreign still. I am amazed by the people I meet here and the things they are doing. I find it very stimulating. Not that where I came from wasn't interesting, but I can see that better from here now that I've had my old habits shook up.

So...either shake things up around here or shake yourself up! :)

War zones suck. Nobody sane should want to be in one. :)