Here is a fascinating comic book on Afghanistan that intersperses photographs of yore with the comic strips and the narrative. From Scans Daily:
Our narrator: Didier Lefèvre, a French photojournalist who goes to Afghanistan in the summer of 1986. He’s there to document a Médecins Sans Frontières (aka Doctors Without Borders, MSF for short) expedition as they travel into the country, giving aid to those affected by the war.
Restoration in Afghanistan: The National Geographic has a fascinating article about an eccentric Scot, Rory Stewart, and his work to restore an old neighborhood in Kabul. I no longer am surprised that, despite all the Google searches and exhaustive research, I always discover something new about Afghanistan. I found the article and the man’s efforts intriguing.
Returning to the mocking of lawyers… these 2 cartoons represent why lawyers are made fun of… Methinks sometimes the problem is not with the lawyers, but with ourselves! I know non-lawyers who obsess about billable time!!!
Who knows what the lyrics truly meant… All I know is that an old friend of mine loved this song, just as I did, when we were young and carefree and didn’t really truly focus on what the words meant. I -at least- did focus on the hair…the hair!!! the horror of the fashion!!!! But life is short, and my friend died a very early death. We were young then, and we were supposed to live forever… but we did not. And I have never been able to listen to this song the same way again. I no longer care about the hair!!!!
There is an interesting article re Rule of Law (ROL) and how the UN sees its role. It is encouraging that we (the US) are already doing it in Afghanistan.
It is a sad state of affairs when lawyers are more mocked than admired for their work, by many who want to highlight the rule of law as something worth pursuing, but -somehow- have a hard time seeing lawyers in that rule of law concoction.
Sometimes I think we deserve the mocking, when you see stereotypical caricatures of lawyers as portrayed in Breaking Bad.
On the other hand, the most influential moral individuals who made indelible marks in this world have been lawyers… So, when I feel demoralized that colleagues look down on me and my profession, I take solace in knowing that there was one Abraham Lincoln, one Thomas More, and one Daniel Webster… and what did they all have in common? They were all lawyers.
This Tom Jones ancient song brings back tender memories, a few laughs, and the realization that the dancing men that made me snicker when I was a teenager because -in my mind- they were ludicrous, still holds true today. The singer has aged…so have I The song has not aged that much, in my mind, because it is melodic. I loved it as a young gal. But, I will always remember it because I knew the Mother of a boy who died too young, before he was 10. In her grief- she found solace in Tom Jones’ ballads, and played this song incessantly. I remember how I could not understand then a Mother’s fixation with a song. Today, I can understand why… the song was a trigger to either better times or happier memories. It is forever imprinted in my mind with her grief.
The news has been sparse: two civilian contractors were killed in Afghanistan returning from their visit to Poli-Charki prison. It hit home. Many of my colleagues at work engage in helping bolster the Afghan corrections system, and some of them knew these two victims of a nonsensical crime. I had the unique experience of visiting Poli-Charki prison and wrote about it: An Afghan prison, a loom, a heater, and Cinderella’s slipper.
Reverend Gray Maggiano worked for the State Department, that funds the corrections program, and knows exactly what contractors experience carrying out their jobs. Here is an excerpt of his homily, which I recommend everyone should read to get a sense of what implementing organizations’ employees face. Here is an excerpt:
Little ink has been spilled for these former prison guards turned civilian advisors, indeed beyond the initial shock of the attack, it has not gathered much press coverage at all.
So, if I may, I’d like to offer a small homily for civilian contractors. You see, to be a civilian contractor, for the military or otherwise, is to be branded. Everyone thinks you are a mercenary, a spy, a know-nothing, ‘part of the problem’, and sometimes, a thug. You lead a ‘cushy’ life, baricaded behind bullet proof glass and steel gates, getting fat off steak and contraband beer. You’re never really ‘at risk’ and you are probably a thief or a cheat, I mean why else would you have taken this job anyway? Your employer thinks you are too close to the Government, the Government thinks you are too close to the Afghans, the Afghans don’t know how long you’ll last, and your husband/wife/kids/family/s.o. just wants you home.
While it would be useless to pretend everyone in Afghanistan is a saint, most of these men and women are good hearted people who saw a unique opportunity to bring their skills to bear to help someone else. In the unique world of corrections advisors this is particularly true.
A macabre little love story:
Theodore Roosevelt lost his wife and Mother on the very same day. His diary entries, below, are the saddest. I discovered all this reading Gerard Van der Leun’s lyrical blog post about the intertwining of love and death.
The Atlantic Magazine has a 20-part series of World War II in photographs. I just saw one part (with 45 photos) and it was fascinating.
I wonder how many among us knew that Ellington and Brubek played in Kabul and that Joffrey (of ballet fame) came from Afghanistan?… I certainly did not!
The below photo is from the BBC article. What a contrast a few years make… Today, you would never see legs exposed on the streets of Kabul.
My talented sister has spent many years working on the lost wax method of creating one-of-a-kind jewelry and other works of art. You can find more of her work in Diolun blog:
This Blog will serve as a compilation of my work over the past 20 years or so…I will sometimes place photographs, other times I will show sketches and/or photocopies. I will not list them in any relevant order because it would mean a lot of work for me, a daunting and nightmarish task as I sort through files, boxes and other paraphernalia. So, in the interest of presenting my work to you dear reader or potential customer, here then I proceed…
I recently discovered a wonderful magazine, Lapham’s Quarterly, which has delightful stories and observations that weave in philosophy, literature, art, science, religion, politics and transcend time. So, for example, the article below, called Man and Beast, meanders through Aesop, Aristotle, Vergil, da Vinci, as well as the famous guru of Beatles’ time, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Other peoples in other parts of the world developed different sets of relations with animals worshipped as gods, but in the European theaters of operation, they served as teachers of both natural and political science. The more that was learned about their “analogous and not identical qualities,” the more fabulous they became. Virgil’s keeping of bees on his country estate in 30 BC led him in book four of the Georgics to admire their work ethic—“At dawn they pour forth from the gates—no loitering”; to applaud their sense of a public and common good—“they share the housing of their city,/passing their lives under exalted laws”; to approve of their chastity—“They forebear to indulge/in copulation or to enervate/their bodies in Venus’ ways.” The studies of Pliny the Elder in the first century demonstrated to his satisfaction that so exceptional were the wonders of the animal kingdom that man by comparison “is the only animal that knows nothing and can learn nothing without being taught. He can neither speak, nor walk, nor eat, nor do anything without the prompting of nature, but only weep.”
Read it all. You will be surprised. I have spent a lovely snowy break enjoying the prose and its content.