Monday, July 16, 2007

round and round and round we go

i know that there is a lot going on in the world today. the catholic church is trying to buy off those they have sinned against and george bush is still telling his evil lies and hoping he can hang on long enough to dump this whole mess in his successor's lap. dick cheney is still the evil incarnate and in japan there was an earthquake, monsoon and reported tsunami.

here in los angeles something important has happened as well. while it certainly does not rank up there with wars, natural disasters and loss of life, in my little corner of the world it is a milestone. today, i have logged 12,000 miles on my treadmill. true, it has taken me ten years but 12,000 miles is still a long way to go. if only i had used some foresight and started issuing myself frequent walker miles years ago, i would really have something to show for all my hard work.

look at what has happened to our world. in just one generation, i have traveled farther on my treadmill, while still not going anywhere, than my parents did in their entire lives. when my parents walked, they walked for a reason. they walked to the store or the train station. they actually went somewhere, did something and then returned. i just walk around and around like a hamster in a cage. i could walk outside. i could walk to the store or the train station (if there were actually trains in los angeles) but i don't. i walk on the treadmill because, while it is true that i go nowhere, i can plug into electronic devices that will simulate me actually moving through space and time. an hour on the treadmill is an hour with cnn. my television can take me all around the world. i can peek into other peoples homes and lives with impunity. i can look close up at dying soldiers and grieving parents. i can sit in a front row seat while a suspected wife murderer is being interrogated and i can walk, mile for mile, with a search party hoping to find a lost child.

maybe my treadmill anniversary is really just a metaphor for what is going on in the world today. maybe, we have all been trained and brainwashed into believing that by going around and around on a treadmill, (be it a walking one or a treadmill of words and ideas) we are actually getting somewhere. traveling 12,000 miles in your family room or lying about progress to a nation at war is basically the same thing - a lot of huffing and puffing while nothing much changes.

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