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Oakland Korean Independence parade.

August 26th, 2001

I Guess
I'm looking at my $300 refund check from the feds. It says "TAX RELIEF FOR AMERICA'S WORKERS" and it was cut, I believe, in Austin, Texas. At least it says "Austin, Texas" right after the date. It is not personally signed by George W. Bush, but one assumes that coming from Austin, it must have at least crossed his desk. (I know, I know. The White House is not located in Austin, Texas. Neither is Bush, at the moment, but the inference is obvious.) How many of these checks come printed with "Austin, Texas"? All of them? Or just these? How much additional money did it cost to make sure they all came from "Austin, Texas"?

I'm not much of a Bush fan, but I'm not yet willing to lay the woes of the world at his feet. First off, he might get lucky. Luck is always better in times of crisis than brains. And who knows? Maybe he's got brains. Maybe he'll take a collective stumble just at the right moment and we'll all dodge the bullet. You know: the Russians, Europe, China, the Economy, Thermonuclear Accidents?

The "TAX RELIEF FOR AMERICA'S WORKERS" is a little rich, coming as a RepublicanOakland Korean Independence parade. initiative, but realistically, the Democrats would do the same or worse. All of it sounds like Orwell 1984 Newspeak. We all hear it on TV. We all use it in business and everyday life. We all say to one another we understand the nuances inherent in political statements and corporate statements and advertisements and the like, but I wonder if there isn't some subtle (or really quite a bit less than subtle) effect on all of us, knowledgeable or not? Are we so far down into the bowels of the beast we no longer notice that we were all long ago digested, discarded and flushed? (I would take it beyond flushed, but you get the gist.) Doublethink indeed.

I am reliably informed by Magdalene that Little House on the Prairie is a series of books and there are no scenes where the wife hides in a cedar chest. OK. They probably read Little House on the Prairie to us too and I confused the "prairie" business. This may mean that it was read to us in kindergarten or maybe first grade in Ballard, a Scandinavian district in Seattle. Have no idea of the title, except I realize now that I'd like to read it again. I can visualize the teacher reading, but I can't place the place. Ballard or Edmonds? Was I really five or six when I heard this story? I guess.

Photos from the Korean Independence Day parade here in Oakland. The quote is from the play, A Woman of No Importance, by Oscar Wilde.