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Sunday, October 28, 2001

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I was watching a great program this morning about fate, fortune and random chance as it relates to the September 11th attack. We try to make meaning out of chaos and control chance. One person says that her daughter died because god loved her. Does this mean that those who lived were less loved by god. Another says they were saved because their guardian angel was watching over us. Does this mean that the guardian angels of those who died were on a coffee break?

One holocaust surviver made it through the death camps as a seven year old by chance. Little things kept him from being killed. Was he more worthy of being saved than those who died? But people refuse to accept the fact that they can only control so much and even that is usually a choice between a very limited number of choices. I personally feel that people who deliberately make their choices instead of the choices being made for them end up with happier lives but they still could get killed tomorrow walking across the street.

I know that when I make choices instead of letting them be made for me I am happier but it's also scarier. Much of my failures as a human being are because I didn't make choices even though when I do make choices they aren't always right. Still, one of the philosophers on the program said that we have to accept that we don't have control over most things. We can rarely stop a madman from killing us. We cannot control our lives and we might as well just live well and be grateful for what we have. Much of religion is a hope of controlling our future, if not on earth, than in the afterlife.

We are bombing Afghanistan because we think this will give us control of our lives. It's a false sense of control as we cannot control other people, we can only terrify them into pretending that they will do as we want, and even that is iffy. Compliant prisoners are still prisoners, not people who have chosen to act as we want them to and this will only generate further hatred. I don't what we should do instead but I am very uncomfortable with this whole scenario.

I really dislike most of what is on television around Halloween. I don't like horror movies. First of I dislike the supernatural side of them since I don't believe in the supernatural and horror movies prey on the worst fears of supernatural. Secondly, I don't like watching people killed for stupid reasons and I have never watched a horror movie that had a good reason. Not even a logical reason. I enjoy dressing up for Halloween, I just don't like horror movies.

Mostly I read today. First I finished "The Immaculate Deception" by Iain Pears. Another excellent mystery with Flavia, the art cop, and Jonathan, the art teacher and sometimes dealer. This one delves into corruption that goes back to the 60s leftists and up to corruption in Italy today. It's very well done and I enjoyed it.

Next I read "Stone Angel" by Carol O'Connell. Kathy Mallory goes back to see where she came from and take care of some old scores. Like all the Mallory books it's a little difficult to read through the complicated characters and situations but I always think about O'Connell's books long after I've finished reading them. Another enjoyable read.

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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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