Monday, November 10, 2014

Nov 10, 2014. Define “surreal”. 
Having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream; unreal; fantastic.
As in: Being born 1950 in an isolated desert town (Ray) of 1500, a “village” by today’s standards; no longer in existence, having been replaced by gigantic hole in the ground – and knowing that to show this to your children (rather grandchildren) you have to stand and point to a spot in the air “where the hospital used to be”; yet living today in mega cities: Hong Kong, Mexico DF, Shanghai and with frequent visits to Amsterdam, Krakow, and other smaller spots. 
As in: Sitting (right now) in Moscow’s DME airport lounge today waiting a flight to Munich - and recalling nightly news of CBS, NBC, ABC (the only TV networks) with images (black & white) and voices (weathered) of Chet, David and Walter (Huntley, Brinkley, Cronkite) - as they report this afternoon’s shooting of someone attempting to scramble over the Berlin wall; body dangles from barbed wire; more images (black & white) and voices (muffled). Then, looking across the room at flat screen plasma TV as some young model-ish commentator (not reporter) comments (not reports) about The Wall’s “coming down” some 25 years ago today.
As in: Standing in an old Soviet school house (two days ago) with darkened halls, wooden floors and steam/radiator heating - listing to a young man, college teacher, talk about the absurdity of politicians who must garner power with armed might “and for what reason?” rather than wage peace; this man who’s father could well have been “my enemy” when I was a Cold War soldier.
As in: Watching TV (again flat screen plasma) as broadcast on BBC last night into my small Togliatty (Russian “Federation”) hostel room – the image (color) and voice (gruff) of Mikhail (Gorbachev) now old (weathered beyond Chet) warning possibilities of a New Cold War. 
Define “surreal”. Nov 10, 2014.

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