Hmm. Great picture. Anyhoo, week 2 or
maybe even number 3 has kicked into effect for some people out
there, while I’m more along the lines of day 1. For whichever
magical reasons, let’s just say I didn’t quite make it in time for
Welcome Week and yet I’m already checking Spirit Airlines for
flights back to anywhere. What’s better yet, even if I were to
purchase said flight ticket I wouldn’t know what the hell I would
do there.

Janna Hutz

Since my return I have attempted to reconnect with the world at
large (the disconnect was fueled largely in part by good ole’
University filtering of all my New York Times daily headlines from
my mailbox. Go Blue.) by scrounging for newspapers, checking out
some of the Dailys from the first week of classes and reading the
opinion columns here and there. Then I realized what it was. I
don’t care. And I realize that this type of attitude can often be
typified as a sort of gross laziness and selfish indifference to
the planet and basic global interactions but maybe my feeling is
fueled by the opposite. Sometimes you grow weary of being too
involved and trying to understand too much. I say this for a number
of reasons.

One of my best nights this summer was when I was at dinner with
my friend, his brother and their father, who is responsible for
fundraising at the United Nations. Being very political, their
father obviously started discussing politics and with me being
someone who stays very aware of politics, but rabidly avoids
discussion and discourse of all types, found him to be someone with
whom these things could be discussed, not to mention the fact that
he has had real world experience and could actually impart upon me
some new knowledge. So as we went through the current events run
through, you know, the fact that things blowing up in Iraq isn’t
too good, Euros are better than dollars and Liberia isn’t such a
fun place to visit this time of year, he said something that was
strikingly simple yet effective. Please allow some paraphrasing due
to wine. He said the world we are leaving you with now is more
complicated than it ever has been and I feel sorry for what you
will have to deal with. That seemed like a fairly logical and
obvious path of reasoning; as time passes, the world will obviously
increase in complexity and become more complex than it was before,
but what I realized is that the manner in which we are going about
it today is problematic. Between the increasing diplomatic strains
between nations and the inversely required cooperation and openness
needed to fix previously initiated nation-building projects I feel
a sense of isolationism burgeoning and waiting for a chance to take
root. Yet we are all stuck in the same pit together. And despite
that and hours of conversation and political theory we were all
just in Manhattan, in an Italian restaurant, repining or in Ann
Arbor trying to figure out where my financial aid went and why four
years of work at my job got me fired (a la failed McMurphy in “One
Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”) .

Then as in a moment of serendipity, poof, the Times disappeared
followed by the thought train that came to me. It said to me, no
matter how many vivid accounts of bus bombs, U.N. building attacks
and accounts of job cuts you read the moral of the story is that,
things in the world aren’t going so good outside of restaurants and
people aren’t really too happy about the direction of the world
right now. What is also true is that outside of yelling with people
in the newspaper there is very little as I can do now to effect any
real and tangible change in the world. So I’ll do my Spanish
homework, unpack my things and worry about college things while I
think about another great night in New York when I watched Bjork
and her Icelandic friends attack Brooklyn and watching her skip
with fairy-like glee and abandon around the stage and regale me
with her banshee wails.

Maybe it’s early in the year for this kind of apathy and I’m
pretty sure by next week I’ll be buried in the Times again,
silently rambling about world events, but my one hope is that maybe
it really isn’t apathy if you care enough to write about it, and
then there’s always Bjork.

Rahim can be reached at
“mailto:hrahim@umich.edu”>hrahim@umich.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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