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Valid questions
Where I have been, where I am, where I am going

June 10, 2004

I was sitting around the other day (as I often do), trying to figure out where we have been, where we are, and most importantly, where we are going.

I don't profess to speak for anybody or any particular group. I only represent myself and I can assert that after living with myself for 45 years I have earned the inalienable right to represent myself. I may not have been democratically elected but then again, there were no other candidates. I didn't need to campaign. There was no voting and I won the seat uncontested.

Now what does this position of power entitle me to? Am I to rant and rave about subjects that don't concern me, or should I stick to things near and dear to my heart (and I don't mean the aorta)? Am I to be subjective in my ranting and raving? Can I generalize, and if so, to what extent? Am I allowed to make assumptions? What if my assumptions run contrary to conventional wisdom? Who was the wise guy who came up with the conventional wisdom anyway, or was it a group of wise guys?

As can be seen, the questions are many and the answers are few and far in between. But one may ponder whether these questions are worth answering? Are these valid questions? When was the expiration date?

I confess. I am taking off on tangents. I shall attempt to stay focused on the topic at hand. But one question still lingers. What is the topic at hand?

Yes I remember. 'Where have we been?' was the first part of the topic and isn't it interesting that even the topic is made up of questions.

I don't know and I have no inclination to find out where you have been. But dear reader, if you don't know where you have been, please don't get into anybody's mouth, for you may be contaminated.

I know where I have been. I have been around. I dare to use a cheap cliché and say that I have 'been there and done that.' I can even go further than that, and to paraphrase a famous Southerner. I can say 'Ain't no place I ain't never been.'

Let's stop the generalities. I ought to be more specific. Specificity has its place in this world and it is indeed an exalted place. Hail to the specifics! Long live the specifiers!

I live my life one day at a time and for me only today exists. I will now tell you where I have been today.

I have been to the urinal three times and to the john once. I have been to the water cooler about 5 times. Once I got cold water and four times I poured myself some hot water to soak my teabags in. For lunch I went to this Mexican place nearby that makes killer sandwiches, with lots of avocados and stuff. I have also been to other people's desks, giving them work or just shooting the breeze with them.

As to 'where I am', I am at my desk facing the computer and typing with two fingers what amounts to sheer none-sense. Will the reader feel offended by it for having invested his precious time in something so meaningless? I hope not.

And finally 'where I am going.' The answer to that is 'nowhere in a hurry'. But seriously, I will shortly get into my car and drive home. The week is coming to an end, and so is this miserable piece.

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By Shahriar Zahedi


Book of the day

Hegemony or Survival
America's Quest for Global Dominance
By Noam Chomsky

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