El documentario fue también sobre la destrucción de las torres y exhibió en nítido y traumático detalle visual los acontecimientos del 11 de septiembre. Pero el anterior gobernador de Nueva York, Mario Cuomo, expresa unas emociones y lecciones constructivas que mucha gente comparte de esa experiencia.
Tonight I saw the final of the series of documentaries on the City of New York by Ric Burns. The theme was the conception and construction of the Twin Towers, and included a moving story about a French man who upon reading about the Towers in a magazine, made up his mind to learn the art of a tightrope walker and walk on a tightrope strung between the two towers. To the people who happened to be passing by the towers in the morning of August 7, 1974, the unexpected and spectacular vision gave much joy.
The documentary was also on the destruction of the towers, and it showed in sharp and traumatic visual detail the events of September 11th. But the former governor of New York, Mario Cuomo, expresses some of the emotions and constructive lessons that many people share from that experience.
Last night I read the new book “Brooklyn Follies” by Paul Auster, a New York author. I don’t read fiction very frequently, but I enjoyed this book very much. It was so gripping that I had difficulty putting it down. So, I continued reading until the end of the book.
In an interview with the paper El País, the author Paul Auster says that his novel is an elegy to a form of living that disappeared at a stroke on September 11th. The story is very beautiful, and makes me nostalgic for that time and place. The novel follows the lives of four principal characters, who start from rather unhappy circumstances – failed relationships, failed careers, misguided decisions – then find happiness in reestablishing bonds of family, friendship and love. Upon finding each other, they cling to one another and savor the pleasure of the moment.
From today, I am going to try to practice Spanish on my blog. Now I can read Spanish well, but listening, speaking and writing are more difficult. If you find errors, please do not hesitate to correct me.
Today I am going to write about one of my favorite topics -- food. About one month ago, a Mexican friend introduced me to the wonderful world of chilis. She showed me how to make a delicious dish using ground meat, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and chipotle. Chipotles are smoked and dried jalapenos. You can buy canned chipotles in many supermarkets.
Take a mixture of ground meats -- beef, pork and turkey -- whatever ground meat you have. Fry these meats with chopped onions. If there is a lot of liquid, drain it or boil it until it is gone. Then add ground cumin, salt and pepper, and mix.
Using a food processor or hand mixer, puree a large can of tomatoes with two chipotles from a can. Be careful, because if you use too many chipotles, you are going to suffer -- chipotles are very spicy. Put some of the tomato mixture in the meat mixture.
Chop potatoes, with or without peel, according to your preference. Put the potatoes in the tomato and meat mixture, and add water, if it is necessary in order to boil the potatoes. Boil until the potatoes are soft. Taste it and season according to your preference. Serve with tortillas or rice.
After they cut down the last tree, they lost their ability to fish, had no friendly neighbors to whom to turn for help, had nowhere to which to escape, so they starved to near extinction. The example of Easter Island attracted the most interest, he said, for its similarities to Earth: we are isolated in this universe and have nowhere/nobody to turn to if we are careless in managing our resources and end up depleting them. He concluded by reminding us to remember above all else the number 32 -- i.e., the number of times of resources that first world nations consume over third world nations.
The topic of tonight's talk was his thoughts since writing Collapse comparing individual and society survival of crises. Drawing on his wife's clinical psychology background, he began talking about coping factors that enable crises victims to and survive. These were: the ability to fence in a problem and tackle it while preserving what's not problematic outside it, I guess, like compartmentalizing; "ego strength" or self-confidence/self-love, which he likened to cultural pride and preservation on the societal scale; flexibility/rigidity in adapting to deal with crises; exposure to of alternative models of coping or something like that; the ability to reappraise one's core values in order to cope with a crises; and a bunch of others in between that I can't remember. He interspersed societal examples rather than analyzing them systematically under these factors -- for instance, marveling at how a tribe of Papua New Guinea in first learning the existence of helicopters asked all sorts of questions about them, then quickly decided to charter their own in order to import birds of paradise from elsewhere and sell them in their own villages for a profit, yet maintaining their culture (wearing grass skirts) throughout. As for implications for our own society, he quoted Dick Cheney saying something to the effect that our core values as Americans were nonnegotiable -- implying that we ought to redress our rigidity, unwillingness/inability to adapt if we are to survive future crises.
Whether or not Diamond's approach is novel or earth-shattering, or he is repetitive or long-winded -- some criticisms made of him -- I find his problem-solving approach systematic, useful and applicable to many areas of life. Whether or not he is unique in doing so, I like very much that he puts "us" -- Americans and humankind -- to the same analyses as to societies in history, warning us of some fairly dire implications of our attitudes and behavior now while it is not too late for us to change course and take control of our destiny. Many of us are hard-pressed to think beyond our households, let alone our lifetimes. He would make a great advisor to leaders -- enlightening and shaping our policies to strategize and plan for the long-term -- alas, if only they would listen.