One size does not fit all

Every time I hear an American politician expound on how exporting democracy to all corners of the world will result in Utopia, I grimace. Its like saying one size fits all is the way to go, regardless of how ridiculous the suit looks. The terrible rise of ISIS in the Middle East makes our attempts at nation building the laughing stock in the Islamic world.

In an essay for the Washington Post on 9/4, "Why they still hate us, 13 years later", Farreed Zakeria hits the nail on the head. His last two paragraphs leaves much food for thought.

"What did I miss in that essay 13 years ago? The fragility of these countries. I didn’t recognize that if the dictatorships faltered, the state could collapse, and that beneath the state there was no civil society — nor, in fact, a real nation. Once chaos reigned across the Middle East, people reached not for their national identities — Iraqi, Syrian — but for much older ones: Shiite, Sunni, Kurd and Arab.
I should have paid greater attention to my mentor in graduate school, Samuel Huntington, who once explained that Americans never recognize that, in the developing world, the key is not the kind of government — communist, capitalist, democratic, dictatorial — but the degree of government. That absence of government is what we are watching these days, from Libya to Iraq to Syria."

No one likes a dictator but if the alternative is chaos and beheadings it is a tolerable choice.  In tailoring our foreign policy it is well to remember that one size does not fit all.


On Aging And Caregivers

As life expectancy keeps inching up, it follows that health issues will become increasingly challenging. A ninety year old wracked with pain from arthritic,  barking knees and a back on its last few discs, finds it a bit difficult to celebrate victory over actuary tables. The problems of old age are further compounded when one's lover is no longer in the picture. Those fortunate enough to be sharing the challenges of old age with their spouse at their side, find the battle easier to cope with. The priorities of a relationship change. As the High Primal shared in her blog, "The older you get, the more you become a caregiver rather than a lover". A loving caregiver is worth two lovers anytime, anywhere.

This is not to say that longer life expectancy goes hand in hand with a debilitating illnesses. On the contrary, having a high primal, loving caregiver throughout life can indeed make a crotchety, low primal the envy of his juniors. More importantly, becoming a loving caregiver in turn, is a sure way to tolerate old age. In the meantime, the hell with the actuary tables.   


On Obituaries And Legacies

I'm not one for reading the obituaries. I should be a follower of obituaries. Not because of my age but because of my genes. My mother was an avid reader of the obituaries (what was unusual about her choice of news was that she read the obits as published in English even though she never had any schooling in the English language). I recall that  Ben Franklin like my mother read the obits everyday.  According to Ben, "I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page.If my name is not on it, I get up". He would be frustrated by today's daily newspaper being delivered only four days a week. Poor Ben would get an awful lot of sleep these days.

My excuse for ignoring the obituaries? At my age, they might spoil my breakfast if my name was staring me in the face.Some people write their own obituaries. I guess they don't want to take a chance of anything negative popping up after they are gone and can't defend themselves. I would chalk it up as an unnecessary ego trip. No undertaker worth the bucks he is being paid would let a negative obituary get by him. Personally, I have found it unnecessary to indulge in obituary writing. I always felt that I would do something outstanding during the course of my life and at my death editors would be scrambling to detail the deeds. Such is not to be. I stopped pursuing a legacy worth any newsprint long ago. I'll have to be satisfied with a generic obituary. No obituary at all would be OK also. What is really important is that those whom I love remember me as someone who did his best to earn their love and respect.

Whoa! This is beginning to sound like an obituary and a published one at that. I assure one and all that such is not the case. Heck those embers from the dying fire of establishing a legacy might still burst out into a flame. Stranger things have happened. Realistically as far as the future of printed obituaries is concerned, its about as dim as my legacy embers. Most investors are convinced that newspapers are on their death bed. I wonder, has anyone written the obituary? That's one I want to read.


More About Low Primals

Occasionally in my posts I have used the term "Low Primal" when making a distinction between low and high primal thinking (What is a high primal thinker? Check the link). I recall writing a post explaining the origin of this term. A search of this blog revealed no such post. Of course, considering my frequent changes it may very well have ended up on the scrap heap. The later is a hint about a disease common to Low Primals - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder concerning the status quo. My OCD could very well be the subject of another post unless I change my mind. Just what is a Low Primal? Well it turns out that a characteristic of Low Primals is that they keep good records. In this case I kept a hard copy of the the aforementioned lost post so I have decided to resurrect it.

In this household I’m referred to as the Low Primal. Who would give me such a moniker? The High Primal Thinker, of course. I discovered this quite by accident. OK, I was peeking at some notes the High Primal wrote to herself (short term memory problems require that a High Primal have notes). There staring me in the face was: "need to discuss this with the Low Primal". Low Primal? I know what a High Primal is but what in hell is a Low Primal? It turns out that a Low Primal thinker is - surprise - the opposite of a High Primal Thinker.

A Low Primal Thinker is prone to make decisions, thus the note. A Low Primal is also very practical and pragmatic. The High Primal would also have me emphasize that a Low Primal tends to embrace new technology. Unfortunately, as the term would imply, a Low Primal shies away from historical facts and can watch a movie he saw a month ago and think he is watching it for the first time. Even worse, a Low Primal thinks that a neat desk is a virtue and that after loading a dishwasher the door does not need to be meticulously cleaned. All in all, a Low Primal is a very normal person. (If a Low Primal is normal, what does that make a High Primal? No Low Primal worth his salt would answer that question.) Most importantly a Low Primal is attracted to a High Primal and together they manage to survive in life’s jungle. How’s that for low primal thinking?

Now that I have set the record straight, there is a distinguishing trait between High Primals and Low Primals that should be noted. Its about the grin that takes place after a blunder on the part of a Low Primal or a High Primal. The Low Primal will respond with a smirk but the High Primal will break out with a shit-eating grin. Both demonstrate smugness but the High Primal's grin is much more devastating. Is this important? Not really - just some trivia.

Now that the record has been set straight I can return to some "serious blogging". On the other hand (my favorite cliche), why not forget about the "serious blogging" for awhile and just have some fun writing. Considering the mess that the world is in right now this isn't such a bad idea. Low Primals know their limits. At the moment this Low Primal is overwhelmed with the intricacies of controversies internationally and domestically. Any ranting on his part would be an exercise in futility. Solving the world's problems does not a Low Primal make.


A Pointless Search

Search engines are the marvel of the Internet. Its mind boggling that a few keystrokes can reveal more information than you could get from a day at the library (unless of course you make use of a search engine there). Just for the hell of it, I occasionally Google (my favorite search engine) 'Tony Rugare' just to see what a search reveals. I was shocked the first time I engaged in this egotistical practice to find that Tony Rugare passed away on Thursday, December 23, 2010. No way! Tony Rugare is alive and kicking. Proof? The search was made by Tony Rugare well after 12/23/2010. Being of reasonably good heath but not necessarily of sound mind, I quickly recovered from my shock. Just what made me think I was the only Tony Rugare roaming this earth? As names go 'Rugare' is not exactly a Smith or a Jones (with all due apologies to the Smiths and Jones' of this world, I'll be forever grateful I wasn't stuck with such a mundane moniker) and pre-Internet  telephone book searches never revealed many listings for a Rugare other than members of my immediate and extended family. Its not a big deal that the Internet has yielded more Rugares than those originating in Sinopoli, Italy. I can live with that, even though a 'Tony Rugare' keeps reminding me that we all must eventually join the choir silent. I hate to think about that since I have trouble carrying a tune but if it is truly a choir silent, I guess it would be OK. At this point a reader might ask: "Just what point is this Tony Rugare trying to make with this post?" Like any question, this one certainly deserves an answer. Ready? The post is pointless! Its as pointless as a Google Search of 'Tony Rugare' in the first place.