Happy New Year Mom, sister, and the FBI agents who've googled their way to this post. Of course, when I say "bomb" I refer to that age-old practice of inundating our elected representatives with letters of encouragement, discouragement, and any other couragement that we think they should consider in their deliberations. Let's bomb the White House this year with calls to end this despicable war. Hear hear!
As long as you're here, how about a movie recommendation? Lost Boys of Sudan (2004) carried Heather and me into the new year last night (this morning) with a mixture of sadness and intense fascination. It's a documentary about two of the nearly 4,000 Sudanese boys orphaned in that country's brutal civil war (now roughly 19-20 year-olds) and eventually brought to the U.S. to find work, an education, and the perversity of a country they had long perceived was like Heaven.
The predominant theme is the incredible difficulty these guys find just getting started in this society. For the ethnomethodologist within us all it's a great study of the taken-for-granted rules of everyday life. Upon arrival they're quickly given an orientation to the local Safeway to learn of new fruits and products for personal hygiene. They're dumbfounded by insistent warnings by their hosts against same-sex public displays of affection in this country. Circled around their speakerphone, they're perplexed by the high cost of their phone service as the operator tries to explain the costs of 3-way calling and the "*69" feature.
The Christians who apparently run this program of resettlement don't hide their evangelical intentions and their attempts to help are tinged with an obvious misunderstanding of what these guys most need and want (girlfriends, jobs, an education). The boys come to question whether the difficulties they encounter here are any less than those of the refugee camps they left behind. It's as damning of the extravagance of Western society as it is enlightening about the hurdles for this remarkable refugee population. Three thumbs up!