Sunday, May 18, 2008

Trepidation from Loss

In the last few weeks, we've seen episodes of loss throughout the world. Some of these 'losses' have massive life changing consequences - such as the loss of life experienced by many survivors of the earthquake in China and victims of the Cyclone Nargar in Myanmar. Life for these individuals will never be the same again as they have lost many of their loved ones; their personal possessions - articles which one would have used as gauges to assess the future have been painfully wiped out in a single blow. Now, everything is lost, everything is gone, the future seems tenuously bleak and it is tough to phantom how one can go on living as they once did or to summon the courage and optimism in the mix of all the bitter cynicism that surrounds their existence. 

Then we have loss, in a very different sense. 

The Democratic Primary between Senators Obama and Clinton have come to a head. Obama has a mathematically insurmountable lead in the race for delegates and superdelegates. However, Senator Clinton ardently refuses to concede the race, claiming a greater stake to the nomination on the basis of her electability amongst white voters and her ability to win large bell weather states. In spite of the rhetorical slashing and dicing, everyone is fully aware that eventually all has to come to a naught, and the race has to end in accordance with the premises that have been set forth. That would undoubtedly point to Senator Clinton's eventual withdrawal from the race. 

Accepting loss on the other hand is never easy. To meekly surrender one's life long ambitions for the greater good of a larger cause can sometimes come across as destiny's deceit which has rob one of his or her ambitions, one would convince oneself to be so rightly his or hers . For Senator Clinton, the refusal to accept lost is fast becoming out of touch with reality and an insistence of preserving her right to an ambition which was never hers in the onset. Instead, such a right is a right that is exhibited and demonstrated by the numerous primaries and caucuses, of which millions exercised their right to elect their parties nominee. Senator Clinton's insistence on staying on can be acclaimed and applauded on the values of perseverance, but it also borders dangerously on arrogance, and worst of all the failure to accept the collective will - which as time passes, jeopardizes the chances of the eventual Democratic nominee in the General Election against John McCain. One can certainly imagine the prospect of having four more years of the same old shit. 

When I pause and reflect, as I watch the streaming news reels of the increasing death toll that marked both tragedies, I feel deeply sorry for the victims of both disasters as they were not the masters of their destinies, but instead have had destiny robbed their dignity and their right to life. The ineffectual and reticent attitudes of government in the Naga situation further adds scorn unto the wounds that has been already afflicted upon those victims. 

On the other hand, we have the race for the Democratic nomination. Loss here, comes in the demise of one's life long ambitions, held together by the aspirations of millions who see their fates tied to the fortune of their candidate. It is tough to hold one's destiny by the hand and accept the inevitable end - to step aside for the good of all. While one might argue that Mrs Clinton has been robbed of her destiny, in truth, she has no one to blame but her own follies. She has in the words of one commentator 'the surest path to the Presidency, but has spun it with one mistake after another.' If Mrs Clinton were to hold herself true to her own words that only the best candidate should be the nominee for the party, she has to recognize that she has outdone herself - by allowing Senator Obama go inhibited in his 11 state route and choosing to opt for firewalling Obama in Ohio and Texas (and she and her team didn't realize that Texas not only had a primary, but a caucus as well and made the realization only at the 11th hour). Not only that, Senator Clinton has to accept that she has been well and truly outdone by Senator Obama. 

The Freshman Senator from Illinois, has outraised, outspent, and outmaneuvered what was touted as the well oiled and seasoned campaign machine of Senator Clinton. Detractors would call him fortunate to have done so, given the follies of the Clinton campaign. However, as Machiavelli has so famously articulated, 'Fortune Favors the Bold'. Nominee Obama has capitalized on Mrs Clinton's mistakes and put together a strategy which played to his strengths in concentrating his resources upon states whose demographics were favorable to him, while anticipating momentum to carry him through those that were not. As we near the end of this primary season, we can now see where that strategy has carried him to. 

Monday, May 12, 2008

It is great to be home. Over the past week, life has been good. The bottomless binging, the over indulgent shopping, the royal treatment one gets at home - all this is all too much to ask for. Right now, I am currently running a massive deficit of Bush administration proportions. Thankfully, I have the most doting relations to bail me out of my exploits. Moreover, unlike the Chinese and Japanese, I do not even need to pay them back a single dime, much less with interest For all this, I'm grateful for I know it's their little way of saying that they are really glad to see me alive and well and I guess I can only make non binding promises that I'll return the favor some day. 

This little vacation is so much more than an R&R. It is a time to look back, and reflect as to what has gone right or wrong. In terms of academic wise, the grades were pretty good and all, but I guess on the social side of things, I failed miserably. I unwittingly allowed myself to be bogged down with the troubles with and within the apartment and allowed those issues to take a personal toll on my relationships with others. Furthermore, I got stuck more often than not within my comfort zone. All this has to change for the next sem, which would be my third, which I'll strive to attain a more balanced outlook towards all matters. For starters, I have made a definitive decision to live alone. It wouldn't be exactly the most economical decision, but one which will entail more personal space and hopefully, that will trickle down to effecting other matters as well. 

Till then, I guess it'll mean more food and shopping. Part of this enterprise has lead to a new addition to my inventory. Right now, I'm blogging this entry in the all new 'sultry' Macbook, all 13 inches of it, with all the additional gizmos and specifications which I will fascinate myself with, albeit while the fascination lasts.