This is the season of reunions and homecomings. Families come together for Thanksgiving and The Holidays, and for those who don't have a family, or don't like the one they have, there are many other ways of revisiting the past and renewing old ties.
This is the season of reunions and homecomings. Families come together for Thanksgiving and The Holidays, and for those who don’t have a family, or don’t like the one they have, there are many other ways of revisiting the past and renewing old ties.
It is always a waste of time to suggest that: "Everybody should see this" or "Everybody should read that," because "Everybody" pays absolutely no attention. But I'll make an exception in this case. In an election season, everybody should read or re-read George Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language." It doesn’t take long, perhaps ten minutes to absorb the whole thing, and it works like a kind of linguistic flu shot. Next time a toxic cloud of political rhetoric comes your way you will find to your surprise and relief that you are completely immune.
Yesterday our quiet neighborhood was enlivened by the appearance of hundreds of runners, taking part in a ten kilometer run to raise money for charity. I was able to watch the scene with great benevolence and without nostalgia because my running days are long past.
I caught running in 1977 during a year I spent at the University of California in Santa Cruz. It was drifting in the warm air like a virus, and my resistance was low. After many happy decades of avoiding all forms of artificial exercise I started to run, or at least to jog.
The daily dose of bad news has been so overwhelming lately that this one fragment of good news almost passed me by. But I was tremendously encouraged to read the story about high school students, teachers and parents in Colorado who launched a mass protest against curriculum changes that would, in effect, have sanitized the teaching of history.