Saturday, June 05, 2010

There Is Something About Bagel

I was sitting in a bagel shop this bright mid-morning with Lintar. Overlooking an intersection in a typical suburb scene, you can always tell some of people's psyche from traffic and city landscape -- the way Sartre did on New York city some decades ago. Or, you can do it by observing simple things like a cup of coffee and donut, like what Umar Kayam did on the same city.

And if you come to think about it, I guess 95 percent of our life and thinking is spent for things that are trivial and, quite simply, light, in Kunderan sense. Like bagel with sun-dried tomato shmear -- or a lone old man sitting behind me with his iPad on, reading probably today's WaPo's gripping stories on retaliative killings in the southeast neighborhood.

All these make the idea of politics is getting harder to comprehend. It gets me thinking why people with vast resources in his/her hand are interested in politics. After all, a bagel and a cup of coffee cost you about two bucks and they can make your day.

Maybe, for them, it is a game worth playing and winning. But for what? Is evading tax a good game? Is crushing many people's hopes for a long-awaited reform a game worth playing?

Those politics and the following rhetoric also tend to suffocate. I am recently reading the biography of Marx (Karl, not Groucho, nor Richard). Putting him into perspective as a human being, albeit brilliant, really lifts up the heaviness of Marxist ideology. With politics, the complexity of a human's mind is wrapped into talking points and, in many cases, guns. Of course, this is not just the case for Marx, but also for many others brilliant minds whose thoughts are evolved into political movement.

Enough said. Moral of the story is that, perhaps, even Noam Chomsky and Gary Becker need to sometimes just have good bagel and coffee.

In the meantime, let the Cafe play jazz rock and roll to you, now. This time, double LP of Exile on Main St. by The Rolling Stones.