Like everyone else these days, I turn on my radio or T.V. news not knowing what I will hear next. It seems that a good quarter of the world, far away places I have always thought very distant from myself, not the least because they belong to the arab world, and I to the Jewish one, have begun enduring upheavals the like of which I have only read and do not in my lifetime recall.
Once, when I was an undergraduate, I studied the European Romantic period, and this reminds me of the days I read about, when revolutions fanned across the continents, and new nations, like our own, were established.
I cannot help but to be excited, and to hope for those people that the world will truly change in their favor, even though, at the same time, I realize that this change will not necessarily favor us, since some of these countries hold large amounts of oil and the dictators favored Israel, while these new governments may not, may turn against us, and perhaps with reason, for siding with dictators and being the indirect agent of their oppression for so long.
I remember too the election in the West Bank and Gaza that brought Hezbollah into the picture there. This is the chance one takes with democracy, and ultimately, it is a chance worth taking, but it can be waylaid when any one party brought into power stops the process cold. Remember Russia, right?
I have been thinking too of the dictators who have been featured lately in the news, and remembering Nabokov's and Chaplin's characterization of them. Yes, they are buffoons. Even Idi Amin, the cannibal. They are all, in their insane ideosyncracies, cut out of the same cloth.