18 thoughts on “For Deven, on His Birthday

  1. I wish I knew why. Happy Birthday, Deven! If you’d like to explain it, that would be cool, but if it’s a private matter we understand.

  2. If I ever write a musical phrase as exquisitely eerie as the one to which Sting sets the words “I don’t subscribe to his point of view,” I will call myself a songwriter for the rest of my life.

  3. Thanks, that clip’s civilization in a nutshell. Neatly haunting but hopeful. This site’s a triple threat: great writing, great range of ideas (heavy on those 80’s videos), and the courteous elaborations of the Whateverettes.
    #1 I bet they do, but extremists provide disturbing exceptions. The young as suicide bombers–it’s humbling to regard our capacity for good and evil. And yes… no shortage of examples for any culture.

  4. I will leave it alone for now, mainly because I am at a conference and it will take some time to explain John’s silliness here. Let’s just say that whether the Russians love their children is of dubious value as a question in the way John used it back in high school. (and I think some folks including the teacher) threw things at him when he mentioned the song in a class.

    More importantly, thanks to all and especially John for the good wishes.

    -Deven

  5. Wow, this song takes me back to the bad old days of the Reagan-era Cold War during college. I hope it has less ominous overtones for Deven. All the best, Deven – hope it’s warmer where you are than here in Maryland.

    Have a fabulous day,
    Lauretta

  6. I love Sting. This song was so hauntingly beautiful.

    Happy B’day Deven! Is it today, or are you a leap baby?

  7. Stupid country/domain restrictions. “This video is not available in your country or domain”. *sigh*

    Well, happy birthday to Deven. Hope it will be a nice one.

  8. The problem with pop songs and pop singers is that they try to reduce a complex issue into 3 minutes of something you can hum along to.

    Whether the Russians loved their children, too, or not was immaterial, as they had a non-representaive government of non-elected leaders at the time. Those leaders were pushing a policy of domination over their citizens, and those of the rest of the USSR. Those children-loving Russians had no real say in whether their leaders wanted war or not.

    FWIW, just over 20 years ago, I was training in West Berlin, GE, literally in the shadow of the Wall. After training, we were allowed, encouraged to go into East Berlin. I saw East Germans shopping, in fact I bought German languge instruction books in the Karl Marx State Bookstore, and playing with theirkids, I saw young Russian soldiers in uniform walking around the Soviet war memorials and museum, much as were we walking around in our US Army uniforms. 9 months later, I was walking through those same streets, now crowded with East Germans streaming through holes in that same Wall.
    Those that I talked to were very happy to have freedom and a chance to live and raise their families in freedom. 20 years on, it hasn’t been easy for them, but outside of jokes about the good old days “Ostalgie” for East Germany, I don’t see anyone rushing to rebuild that Wall

    Yes, they were human beings just like us, but their government’s plans and ideology of totalitarianism was 180 degrees from ours, would you rather have live under the policies of the Kremlin, or the White House?

    As for #1’s moral relativity, I’ve seen and spoken to insurgents and extremists face to face, as well as non-involved Iraqis just trying to make it through the day. The difference between the former and the latter is that the former is willing to kill themselves and anyone else to spread their terror and dominate through fear, the latter just want peace and stability to raise their kids in a better world than they have lived in.

    If it’s not apparent to you, the US and other democracies/republics gives its citizens the ability to have a say in the way their leaders do business. Hopefully, current events will cause more citizens to be more involved in holding their leaders accountable for their decisions, after all, they work for us.

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