. . . that allows me to touch on several interesting yet diverse topics while making a few perhaps unexpectedly related points:
I've done virtually nothing to promote this blog; my own family and most of my friends don't read it.
So I was rather pleased and surprised to find recently that Google's Blogspot Stats say that, since Google bought Blogspot ca. May, 2008, c-Blog has averaged ca. 4,000 hits per month. (And I don't think too many could be from spammers, since I rarely receive spam comments.)
My most popular posts have been on the Hajj, the Yes Lab, Matthew Barney and Ryan Trecartin, Obama re- the Holocaust, and the 2009 NYC Art Fairs.
Somehow, my comments on Barney's and Trecartin's works drew 116 page views this week. But the Hajj post remains the all-time big hitter, with the Obama re- the Holocaust post not far behind.
In the Hajj post, I simply gave a short description of Hajj based on info found at Wikipedia: "The Hajj (Arabic: حج Ḥaǧǧ) is a pilgrimage to Mecca. It is currently the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a moral obligation that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. . . ."
In the Obama re- the Holocaust post, I pasted a copy of his words written in the guest book at Israel's Holocaust Memorial (see below).
None of us ever knows really what it is we've managed to do that might actually turn out to have been the most helpful toward whatever we really hoped most to help.
In Coleridge's Biographia Literaria and other writings, he periodically referred to this book he thought he should write, the Logosophia. He never finished that book. But maybe the Biographia, perhaps together with his other works, through indirection, sufficiently constituted the work he thought we needed? At least, it influenced me.
Two years before my father died, he threw his last big tantrum that I witnessed. (It was at that late date that I finally recognized that "tantrum" was what it was that he'd been doing throughout our lives whenever necessary to get his way.) During the only slightly less excruciating, semi-apologetic wind-down, he told me things that made plain he remained utterly deluded as to both his greatest accomplishments and his greatest failings as a parent.
But just because he utterly misunderstood his real accomplishments, didn't mean there weren't any; there were.
A lot of people hoped Obama might help re- the Middle East. Here's a transcript of his hand-written words at the Holocaust Memorial:
I'm grateful to Yad Vashem and all of those responsible for this remarkable institution. At a time of great peril and promise, war and strife, we are blessed to have such a powerful reminder of man's potential for great evil, but also our capacity to rise up from tragedy and remake our world. Let our children come here, and know this history, so that they can add their voices to proclaim "never gain." And may we remember those who perished, not only as victims, but also as individuals who hoped and loved and dreamed like us, and who have become symbols of the human spirit.We can't know if Obama will ever live up to the promise he showed. All we can do is try to be the promise that he showed.