We met these beautiful deer while walking around the university gardens at night. The deer have no fear of humans whatsoever.

15 Years

Today is the 15th anniversary of the day I emigrated from Ukraine to North America. Fifteen years sound like a lot but when I think of how much was learned, done, seen and achieved (notice the modest passive voice) in these years, it isn’t really all that much.

On the day when people in this country celebrate Independence Day, I celebrate immigrants and the courage of people who take their lives into their own hands. I think this is a very fitting thing to do.

Why the Protests Fail

A blogger writes:

The issue with the Arab Spring, together with the Occupy movement and the Brazilian protestors, is that the millions of people who have taken to the streets for one reason or another collectively lack an  organised leadership or any  representatives.

Spain’s Indignados can be added to the list as well, especially as the name of their movement is so indicative of the problem that plagues the massive, popular, spontaneous protest phenomena of the recent years.

The reason why the protests never achieve anything is not that a Great Leader is lacking. It is that the protesters unite around the idea of a vague discomfort with what is going on and have absolutely no clue what specific kind of change they want to take place. No matter how many people show up and how passionate they get, protesting against greed, poverty, or corruption in politics is incapable of producing results.

As my favorite poster of the Indignados said, “Indignation is not enough.” Many of us have experienced those proverbial fights between lovers where people yell and scream at each other only to fall into a passionate embrace after venting their grievances.

These protests are very similar to such fights. Protesters release the tension through the carnavalesque but ultimately meaningless activities and are then ready to hand themselves over to the system they ranted against with an even greater abandon.