Looks like I’ll be ringing in the New Year hunched over my laptop, working like mad to beat a rapidly approaching deadline. You see, I’ve recently experienced what my IT guy euphemistically calls a “hardware failure”. A complete, utter hard-drive meltdown. I lost everything. Not the least of which was months upon months of work, writing, and research. I’m now having to re-create it, some from whole cloth so to speak, in a matter of days. Also vanished into the ether: three nearly finished Motley Moose diaries. Sigh. And that, in a nutshell, is what I’ve been up to lately. Up to my supraorbital ridge, truth be known. I hope you’ll all forgive my general cyber-silence. It’s temporary, I assure you.
So, while working feverishly this evening. I caught an e-mail from a former supervisor with whom I’m collaborating for my current project (solar baby, solar). This guy’s more than just an old boss. He’s a colleague, a mentor, and a truly great friend.
Here’s what he had to say:
New Year’s Eve 2008…
…it’s an artificial construct, you know.
It would be more logical to tie this cultural calendar construct to the winter solstice…but no…numerous folks at numerous times have messed things up (resembles recent economic history, doesn’t it?)
Regardless, we come down to this temporal milepost each year at this time, we collectively pretend that somehow, some way, we will have a new fresh slate…
Tomorrow will in all likelihood resemble today…
…or maybe it will be a bit worse as we continue the numerous and varied, cybernetically-articulated positive and negative feedbacks of the current economic meltdown.
Resource inequality, prejudice, and unmitigated greed have brought us to the worst times since the Great Depression.
Fortunately, enough people, in the right states, spoke loud and clear last November. We have a glimmer of hope on the horizon. We won’t bounce back anytime soon. Actually, I doubt that I will live long enough to see the return of good times in America.
By a fortunate accident of birth, I have lived through the best times this country will/could/shall see in modern times. I should feel grateful for that…but I really feel the pain of future generations…
…they will never forgive us for messing the nest.
Now is the time to hunker down and hang on, we must not retreat from our participation in what’s left of our American democracy…
…we must care for our fellow travelers, we must realize and live our obligations as “civilized” human beings.
As we enter this “new year.” we must preserve and nourish a sense of realistic hope.
Without hope, people perish.
Let’s all resolve to keep any and all embers of hope glowing and “alive.”
People are all we have…everything else is incidental window-dressing.
I sincerely hope that ’09 will be healthy and productive for you and the important people in your lives.
Now that was too good to keep to myself. I begged his permission to post it here, and invited him to poke around the Moose, kick the tires, and join the ranks if he felt so inclined. In reply, he wrote:
Sure you can post my little collection of thoughts, if you would like.
I’m sure life looks a bit different to this old hippie emeritus. Remember, I actually lived through all 5 days in the streets at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in ’68. An event like that will change one’s perspective on life – permanently.
Take care, my friend. Power to the people.
So here’s the take away lesson: back up your data often, but never lose sight of what matters most. The little things like friends and family. Without them, stuff like “hardware failure” would be utterly intolerable.
Happy New Year!
P.S. If you’ve enjoyed my recent taciturnity, tough shit, you’ll never get rid of the likes of me that easily. Heh.