I saw a History Channel program about how American states received their shapes. Without surprise, water contributed much to states' boundaries in the nation's toddler years. Texas and California exhibited clout so they were allowed to keep their size although Texas lost some because of the Missouri compromise.
I didn't realize Florida was such an orphan, part of Spain, then part of the fledgling country, then given back to Spain for some cash and a promise not to challenge Spain for places up for grabs due to the Louisiana Purchase, eventually returned to the US. It's like our yard sale state.
States were proposed and even born only to disappear. My favorite was Franklin. Proposed for the western end of North Carolina, where NC was giving up territory to the US government so the land could be sold and the Revolution's debt could be paid, the state came into being in the sense its shape and mass was defined but it was nobody's child except the small group of locals clamoring for it. Nevertheless, Franklin formed a government, elected a legislator and leader and went about their state business. Realizing they weren't making progress, they declared themselves a republic. Four years after the start, they were broke. NC took them back into their bosom but gave them to Tennessee when it was formed and granted statehood.
Lots of western states are square because Congress decided size matters and no state should be too big or too small. They looked the other way for Alaska.
Steve Jobs passed yesterday, Wednesday, October 5th, 2011. Some call him 'the Edison of our time'. RIP, Steve, but that's not why my day is gloomy. Nor is it the states and their shapes. The exact latitude and longitude causing my gloomliness seem somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, a place of mysterious mysteries.
Jobs' death does cause some gloominess. He passed at 56 and I'm 55. I don't quite have his fame or accomplishments. Makes me examine myself and my shortcomings while admiring him and his successes. 'Everyone is created equal' is the slogan but we know that's not true. Jobs' death reminds me.
The world's ongoing economic issues causes gloominess. Jobs reports, not talking about Steve now, cause concerns, sure, very abstract. I'm employed, work for a large corp, have my military pension so things ain't bad for me. Our local economy is coping, unemployment around ten percent and budgets are being cut.
Little deaths cause gloominess, the ones stealing past, barely noticed as Jobs passed. A three year old hit by a train in Australia. A man who killed his wife after she killed her children. A man police killed, a man who killed his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend. They made the newspaper and tubes so someone noticed and took the time to post the stories. There were probably many others going unposted.
Need to find something uplifting. Steeler football...well, they signed another lineman, so maybe.... Nah, we're probably looking at a loooong 9 and 7 season, maybe one playoff game. Formula 1? Vettel needs a point in Singapore. That won't be denied him. Alonso is shooting for second. How great is that?
How can I support these activities? Same way I support malls selling clothing for all these special occassions, Halloween, Chistmas and Easter. Is life about sustanence and surviving, art and soul, or work and celebrating existence? Doesn't football's violent ballet display humanity's physical prowess and encourages us to improve ourselves by diet, exercise and training? Isn't Formula 1 a stunning technological achievement melding humans, machines and physics? Am I trying too hard, reaching too far?
Yes, I'm probably overthinking, a product of preternatural Bermuda Triangle events. Days like this I want the time machine to take me forward and see how it all works out.
Time to go write.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com