Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Libya-US Relations Normalized

Thank God we are restoring ties to Libya. I can finally schedule my long-awaited vacation there, and think of all the Libyaneese products that we can finally get our hands on with the end of the trade embargo. Wow!

Actually the kiss-and-make up with Libya is notable to me, and probably many others raised in the 1970’s simply because they were the “original” terrorists. I don’t know what it is about childhood, but everything seemed more authentic then. Who could forget the white VW van filled with Libyan terrorists tearing through the mall parking lot as Michael J Fox raced to get his time machine car working in “Back to the Future”? That’s real drama baby, the kind that sticks with you and forever defines terrorism.

And it wasn’t just defining the bad guys (or waiting for the Soviet’s nuclear missile to arrive and fry us all) but everything back then seemed more real. As I grew up, things became more of an intellectual curiosity. I’m not sure I ever accepted another President after Carter or Reagan, the rest seemed to be on a trial run, like take your daughter to work day. The years seemed to move impossibly fast after 1980 and the world has become a blur. How was it that the wait for a birthday or Christmas appeared to be several eons long when I was age 10, and now I find myself pulling the Christmas decorations out about three weeks after I finally finished mailing out the “belated” gifts from the year before?

I think the sensory experience of childhood is amazing. The tangibleness of long summers where you weren’t hermetically sealed in air conditioned buildings. How sweet the ice cream was on a hot summer day when you had to beg your parents for a quarter instead of throwing it in your cart at the grocery store. The thrill of Saturday morning cartoons long before you realized that the only reasonable thing to do at 6am on Saturday’s was sleep.

It’s the purity of these experiences that lead people (such as myself) to assume that we had an idealized existence and make sweeping declarations that indicate that their path was naturally the best one. I say stupid things all the time like “I never went to preschool (implication: and look at how well I turned out)” or “When I was a kid, we sometimes could only afford hotdogs for dinner (implication: and look at how well I turned out)”.

Still, it’s good to know we have finally made some progress on Libya. President Carter must be really excited.

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