Welcome aboard the Bitter Trolley, and since I’ve collected your tickets and everyone is comfy, let’s get the BT underway.
Well, here it is my first blog post. I planned to start this adventure by explaining why it’s called the Bitter Trolley Conductor, and giving a kind of sketch as to who I am in the hopes that if anyone is reading this they have an understanding of what makes me tick.
But you know what? I can’t really explain what makes me tick when every day I become less sure of that myself. But that is a whole other entry…
So what am I going to start this great adventure (or is it misadventure?) sharing my opinions and thoughts on? How about starting with the turmoil, uprisings and demonstrations in the Middle East? Actually, lately it is Africa, so I’ll amend to say the Arab nations.
I admit that I was riveted to what was happening in Egypt, I found the Al Jazeera English stream and could not turn it off.
*Standing on soapbox* Oh, and hey, cable companies and DirecTV and Dish…if you can carry some of the video flotsam you do, how about carrying Al Jazeera English? What, not enough channels? Bunk. And if cable companies can pay hundreds of millions to carry Lakers games how about something informative? Or are you just afraid people will see how HORRIBLE CNN, FNC, MSNBC, etc. are at really covering world events? *Getting off soapbox*
Now it is Libya in flames, in some places literally. What the hell does this all mean? The smoke is still in the air in Egypt and now Gaddafi is bombing his own people.
Will we see the rise of more Islamic Republics, like Iran in 1979? (The first time world events had me glued to the TV.)
Or will something in a representative democracy mold emerge, or something like Turkey? It’s all exciting, scary and mind boggling.
I truly believe that freedom is such a powerful thing, that even after decades of oppression, be it political, religious, or a combination of both, the crowd will rise and demand what our Founders called “self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
That doesn’t mean I think they need to base their freedom on the U.S. model. I just want them to be free. I have seen too much suffering and horror to not.
So what does it all mean, the outburst of demonstrations and uprisings?
I am not going to act like I know in any way. I’m not like the pundits and talking heads that get on TV and the radio, or write for a paper, and act like they have some deep insight and reading of the minds of others.
But I do wonder about some things and have opinions. (It is a blog after all!) Some of them may upset readers. (LOL Look at my arrogance, thinking anyone is reading this!) I hope if you disagree we can discuss.
Here is one thing I wonder: how much of these uprisings now are influenced by our actions in Iraq? Yeah, people can say we should never have invaded and dethroned one of the worst dictators of the 20th Century, a sentiment I politely disagree with. But that’s based on several tours there and one I feel stronger about every day. But seeing a brutal thug overthrown, and after years of what basically was power struggles decades old (and aided by outside agitators) Iraq has a government elected by the people.
It’s a FAR from perfect government, it has far too much corruption and other issues, but it is still better than a government of rape rooms, secret police and the draining of marsh land as political reprisal that condemns farmers to having nothing.
Maybe the people are seeing that it CAN be done? I am just throwing this out there.
Well, I have bored you enough. I promise it won’t all be political or world events. I will be talking about books I am reading, TV I love, sci fi greatness, how Batman is so superior to Superman it’s not even funny and a host of other world shattering topics. I just hope if you are reading this now you will do so again.
Thanks for riding the Bitter Trolley, and please, remember us for your future travels.