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Friday, March 24, 2006

How to do a Holiday

Today is a holiday in Buenos Aires. It is the 30th anniversary of the military coming to power - the beginning of a very dark period in Argentine history, when thousands were arrested, tortured, killed, or just disappeared.

I don't really know much about Argentine history, I have to admit. What I do know, and what I'm going to mention now, is that it was less than two weeks ago, after a long debate, that today was made a holiday. A lot of people I've talked to here, younger Argentines, just kind of laugh and say, yeah that's how it goes here...any chance to get off work or celebrate something. In this case of course, there is not much to celebrate. It is a day of remembrance.

Im wondering, in thirty years time, if the Iraqi government (if there is an Iraqi government) decides to make a holiday of the coming of the U.S. led coalition to liberate Iraq. I wonder how that day will be looked a solemn day of rememberance for the trigger of a civil war, or for the (in a long term view) great success that the Bush Administration talked about the first days of the war. Or perhaps will the holiday be for the day Saddam's statue came down, or for the "End of the War" as declared by Bush in 2003, or the blowing up a Shi'ite mosque that was the event that marked the escalation into a civil war.

Perhaps its because yesterday was my own 30th anniversary of sorts (of being alive, at any rate) and I'm thinking about what have been the most important days in my life (in a global sense). What are the days I will tell my kids about some day (if i ever have kids), the days I remember living through. Coming from the U.S, I've been lucky that the days of solemn remembrance revolved around space shuttle disasters and hostage situations (until September 11 anyway), and not events like the coming or falling of dicators and military powers...Now, perhaps, that is changing. What will we in the US do to remember the 30th anniversary of entering the Iraq war, or will it all be forgotten by then?

And speaking of September 11...does anyone else feel that through their repeated usage of variations of the phrase "the tragic events of 9/11" as an excuse for everything they have done that is in anyway controversial or ethically gray, George Bush and his associates have cheapened the value or import of what happened? That through the politicizing of it, 9/11 is no longer a human event but some cliche to fall back upon when the questioning gets a bit too tough.

Also, isn't it a bit ironic that a president who made it clear that the world is a black and white place is so ready to use methods and make decisions that are such varying shades of gray (and shady).
Ack...forgive the holiday ramblings...

The following are pictures taken either last weekend on my bike ride, or during the week on a little stroll through the neighborhood. Today we are going to go to the Boca neighborhood and I hoep to have some good pictures to put up at some point in the near future.

Tomorrow we are off to a five star hotel to celebrate Natalia's boss's 40th birthday..a bit more excessive perhaps than my own modest 30th birthday dinner with friends!


Anonymous shawn said...

Happy birthday buddy!!!!! I dont know if you got my last message but this blog was pretty deep! WOW!!!

7:43 PM  

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