Sunday, September 27, 2020
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Now we are in a time of uncertainty, and the advice and exhortations are likely to change every couple of weeks. Adults should understand that we are titrating our responses to a hazard, and that even though case increases are probably not exponential, they are on an upward path. That said, it is hard to obtain commitment when the rules vary so much. Insurrection seems unlikely, but actual non-compliance will probably increase.My beloved city Kfar Saba has just been declared "Red City", meaning that the number of infected is increasing exponentially and has passed some number. Prof Thompson explains that the number of positives is unrelated to the number of people falling ill. But fatties like me are in danger. More than that I did not understood. Anyway, I am at home trying to work. Found several projects misfiled and forgotten - now is the time to update my work schedule.
Friday, September 25, 2020
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
I had planned my life so that I shall work till age .. (my current age) . It seemed so far away that I did not plan anything after that. Life passed without noticing and now I have no future plans. Everybody says that not working causes hopelessness, depression, disease and early death. I have several professional articles half-written, and I am not finishing them because of "what for?" I believe it does no good for my children to inherit much, or am I just an old miser?
Woody Allen convinced himself that had brain cancer and walked aimlessly and then entered a cinema where he watched a Marx Brothers film. What the Hell, I am enjoying it! and went to work.
Sunday, September 20, 2020
I am rereading A Bend on the River by Naipaul. In the novel there is a Belgian teacher, former adviser of Mobutu and now, disgraced, edits his speeches in the hope of regaining his favor. I tried to find if there was such book or it was the writer's invention, and voila! there it is on the internet (in French). The drama of the Belgian Congo has been forgotten, and as is my boss M. Portalis's Latinoconsult project in Katanga. See the documentary on YouTube.
In the movie there is an interview with the CIA agent who tells how they tried to identify potential leaders around Lumumba, and how - later - he received the order to eliminate Lumumba. Lumumba was trying to align his strategic, copper and uranium mining country, with the socialist camp. The order was carried out by Mobutu, whose faithful service was rewarded with firm support from the West. that allowed him to steal millions and enjoy it undisturbed in Europe.
When later the mining province of Katanga tried to secede with the assistance of the Che, the rebellion's leader Kabila was persuaded to change sides and the rebels were liquidated by South African soldiers. Kabila became President of the Congo, and after he was assassinated, his son Joseph inherited the post. El Che said that the rebels were not serious and moved to start a guerrilla in Bolivia. Naipaul's Indian trading families are back in Stanleyville (whatever it is called now). The book has been accused of pro-colonialism, in my opinion, rightly. Moreover, it is racist, he explains the riots, the massacres and the rage of the Africans "for being what they are" - an enigmatic yet crystal clear diagnosis of postcolonial Africa. And not only Africa.
Saturday, September 19, 2020