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Now You See It, Now You Don't
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Friday, I mean. I sat down this morning around 9 a.m. to research a paper I'm writing on the Suez canal--didn't even write a journal entry, which is unusual for me--and surfaced many hours later at 4:15 p.m. So that's where Friday went, and I didn't see it at all.

About the only thing I got done around the house was to bring in the trash cans and make the bed (I always make the bed as soon as I get up, so that I'm not tempted to fall back into it).

I made notes on the history of the canal zone in ancient times, write a short summary of de Lesseps' efforts to get it funded and built, described the stages of construction, tried to follow the convoluted funding of the Suez Company, and finally ended with the turbulence and Egyptian/Israeli fighting that followed the end of WWII.

I got as far as the Six Days War, and quit out of exhaustion and finger fatigue. I'll go back to it tomorrow and see what else I can zoom through for the 20th century. I'm tempted to say something snarky like 'X invaded Y; Z and W sold arms to X and Y, and they've been fighting ever since, war without end, amen.

De Lesseps' vision for the canal was a neutral, universal waterway, managed by an international company. We've come a long way from that ideal, plenty of blame to spread around.

I'm so tired of reading about and listening to and watching stories of hatred, fear and violence. My generation wanted to change the world, make peace not war. I'm thinking that we must have made major mistakes--unintended consequences--and we were so sure that people would respond to the ideals of justice and compassion and love. They responded, all right, with bombs and lies and reduced civil liberties.

I wonder how many people of my generation wonder, as I do, what we could have done differently for a better outcome.

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