letter to an alien after reading the wall street journal comment section

Dear Aliens,

In this place called the World there have become many poor people, and by poor, it is meant that they lack things to live, or at least to live properly, and they have begun what are called riots.

I went to a font of great knowledge, called the Wall Street Journal, and there were others gathered around (in the electronic aether) to speak about it, and they said many things of great ignorance.

And so I felt rather upset. The times of riots and poverty portend war, a great calamity, a disease of the mind, that kills millions of innocents without mercy or discrimination.

I went to read the words of another, called Akhmatova, because she lived in a far worse time, and saw riots of her own, and evil rise in the land and crops of corpses grow in the snow. Before her, unbeknownst, lay the Twentieth Century, in which would see her child's father killed and her son in prison, her work banished and her country burned to the ground by its own people and by strangers.

I do not know why reading her words makes me feel better, but there is something about it that seems more true than the horrible stories of history. You see on one side there are many great men, great leaders, great battles, great victories, great ideas, great monuments, great movements, and great themes. On the other side, there is a woman poring over a sentence in her mind and composing it into a rhyme with other sentences. Somehow a poem is more important than all the rest.

Whatever is to come, from the angry, in their hatred and fury, well, I suppose it has come before. There are men who cannot listen, they do not know how or have forgotten it. But to listen, it takes practice. It is an art form, like figure skating or baseball. The curve of a ball, a parabolic arc, as it flies off an ash bat, and sings through the sky, is beautiful. So is the look of someone else's eyes, as you stare into them, and let their words wash over you, like some new flavor you discover in the first time of trying a new dish.

In my mind I have pictured a building, it's structure is of knowledge, slowly gained through careful work, over many years, and at it's pinnacle is wisdom, and at it's bottom are the mad bombers, placing some explosion on a founding column, to bring the whole thing down into pieces. The violence of the heart destroys civilization.

We have known this for a long time. The group of us called the Ancient Greeks wrote about it, and since their time, every human has died and a new group has been born in place, dozens of times, but we forget with each new wave.

So, dearest Alien reader. I would like you to know about us, the humans, and I wish to tell you that we were beautiful, and I hope we still are by the time you get this. And I want to tell you that we tried. We tried.


The Reasons

"I believe as long as there is a push to not ask questions or dig deeper there are plenty of reasons to continue to do so. With patience and compassion, there are ways to heal, but they cannot be approached from a place of denial or ignorance."
-Leah McGrath Goodman

trouble with the curve review

if a film draws people in, has it lived, or died? if people weep in the theatre, is it successfull, or not? if it causes someone to stare off into space, thinking, has it won or lost?

if a film makes the heart rise up for even a half a second, in a week of work and dreary existence, though stable... does it have the movie magic, or does it not?

when I saw John Goodman in this film, did i not feel myself transported to another time and another place? when amy adams hears the sound, didn't i imagine, for a moment, that i heard it too?

wasnt i back there, in the setting sun, mid summer, the blue and purples of the skies darekning, as i beg for just one more pitch, just one more throw, with my brother and my dad, just once more round the bases?

wasnt i stopped at the filling station aftewards, contemplating the angry things i have said in my life, and counting them as far too many?

yes i think that, for me... this film was very much alive... and i hope that for everyone, something is alive for them too, if not film, or baseball, then something... yes... to remind them it is good to be alive. and to make it through one more day with this in mind.