Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

I'm just trying to develop an online body of work (even if the work is throwaway nonsense) to advance my writing career.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's a Bleak... HOUSE!

There's breaking news on the allegedly under aged Chinese gymnast: the claim that she was only thirteen according to an "earlier report" has been verified, but it turns out the "earlier report" is three years old. Actually, all gymnasts look about thirteen, so it's hardly surprising some of them turn out to be.

Earlier this year, Festus Mogae stepped down as President of Botswana. There was no global grief or regret to this development, but there should have been, because it was the end of an era. For the first time in history, a nation selected as its leader someone named after an overbearing character on "Gunsmoke." This man served in office for ten years and the world seemed ignorant to his very amusing moniker.

Incidentally, Mogae's successor, Ian Khama, recently denied rumors that he wanted to amend the country's constitution in order to seek a third term, which is odd considering he has not even completed his first term. It turns out the speculation started because certain parties within the government want to abandon the two term maximum not for political reasons, but for financial ones. In other words, they just don't want to pay pensions and protection to so many ex-Presidents.

One can understand a relatively poor, lightly populated country's desire for fiscal responsibility but surely the citizens of Botswana understand as well as anyone the dangers of leaders remaining in power too long. They need only look to their northern neighbors of Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Congo for recent extreme illustrations of despotism. Granted, there are no signs of Mr. Khama, son of Botswana's independence leader Sir Seretse Khama, turning into an autocrat and Botswana has for forty years been a peaceful and reasonably prosperous outpost in the midst of a chaotic region, but whenever ideas like this surface in the developing world, caution is a common reaction.

Between Russian invasions, Olympic stabbings, Bernie Mac, Sandy Allen, Isaac Hayes, Paul Newman, rising inflation and unemployment, it wasn't easy to find cheerful news these past few weeks. What hard times hath befallen on the world? But whenever I hear the inspirational Commodores/Charles Dickens duet "Bleak House", I can't stay depressed for long.


Post a Comment

<< Home