I’ve been lazy about writing recently even though there were a number of issues that I had thoughts about. I’ve decided to just do a “digest” today!
New York City
New York City experienced an unforgettable summer in 1977: scorching heat, a crippling July power blackout which saw widespread arson and looting and resulted in millions of dollars worth of damage, a serial killer dubbed the Son of Sam, rising crime and financial crisis.
Fast forward thirty years and there seems to be no improvement. A few inches of rain last week caused total chaos in the city, disrupting the entire transport system for hours. A few weeks ago a manhole cover blew up causing one death and traffic chaos in mid-town Manhattan up until a few days ago. Add to that the huge power outage in Queens last year and the black out that affected the entire North East corridor in 2004. In other words NYC is pretending to be a first world city when in reality it isn’t. The subway system is archaic, nasty, inefficient and expensive, the city streets are dirty and smelly and sidewalks are forever overflowing with garbage bags and stink of dog urine and faeces. The traffic is unbearable and the air polluted. Housing standards are poor unless you are rich and can afford decent accommodation. Similarly if you cannot afford insurance forget about proper health care. Now, don’t get me wrong- I generally like living in NYC because there is so much else to it beyond some of the negatives I have listed. My problem is with those Americans and New Yorkers who act as if their way of life is the only way to live, as if their city/country is the best in the world and who complain incessantly about the minutest of inconveniences they experience when travelling overseas.
Speaking of New York City, Thursday, August 9th marked 10 years since the day Abner Louima was beaten, brutalised and sexually assaulted by NYPD officers. Louima had intervened in a fight between two women and was arrested by police who were summoned. He was beaten up on the way to the police station and then further beaten up and sodomised with a plunge while there. Louima suffered massive internal injuries as a result and several of his teeth were also broken when the plunger was forced into his mouth! When he was finally taken to the hospital, the police alleged he had received them from abnormal homosexual activities- a nurse who doubted the claim raised the alarm. The police tried to cover up but protests and public outrage meant that some of the guilty persons were punished. Some were acquitted because of technicalities! Fox News and one of its right wing ideologues Sean Hannity backed the police and insisted that Louima had sustained his injuries through homosexual activity. The main perpetrator Justin Volpe confessed to sodomising Louima with the help of another officer and changed his plea to guilty during the trial. Fox News still continues to spread its right wing propaganda and lies and 10 years later, black or indeed Muslim men would be foolish to assume that their basic human rights are assured in this city!
Indian Overseas Victory
India won a rare overseas victory and their first in England since 1986 when the last test was drawn. A 1-0 margin may not seem great but to rebound and totally outplay England in the last two matches after fighting to save the Lord’s test is testament to the team unity, belief and spirit in this team that combined youth and experience. The English are as usual whinging! What makes the Indian victory even more gratifying to everyone who dislikes the English team is that it came in the face of sledging and unsportsmanlike behaviour from most of the England players.
Foot and Knee
Therapy for my knee is coming along fine and I finally got rid of the cane over the weekend. I had actually stopped using it for two days in between but had to start back because my limp came back with a vengeance! My foot is still not used to all the walking, weight bearing and work shoes and I have decided to wear semi-casual shoes/loafers and no tie to work in August as there are hardly any meetings going on. If there is a meeting I wear a suit and proper footwear. I was actually becoming worried about my painful foot and went to the podiatrist last week Tuesday. His partner was there and attended to me as he has done the other two times I was there. Basically it is just a matter of my foot getting accustomed to normal usage and until it does so I will feel discomfort. Biomechanics also play a part as some tendons are still tight from lack of use and so other tendons overcompensate and then hurt.
Today is left-handers day- A day for left-handed people to celebrate their left-handedness and raise public awareness about being left-handed. I have no idea if I am right of left-handed. The usual indicator used by society is the hand one writes with so on that basis I would be considered right-handed. However, I can also write with my left hand but having never practised, not very well- not that my writing done with my right hand looks much better! I play all sports with my left hand/foot. There are some things I can do comfortably with both, some with only one, for example, if I am hammering I use my right but if I am chopping with a cutlass I have to use my left, I prefer to use a mouse with my left but I can also use it with my right, I dial and text on my mobile with my left but I dial on my home phone with my right, when I point at something or I react if something is dropped it’s with my left hand, I stir coffee or pots with either and I serve food from pots and bowls with either, I use the remote control in my left and I cannot imagine shifting gears with my right. I always thought that I read magazines and newspapers from back to front because of being taught Arabic and Urdu (Arabic and Urdu script like most Eastern languages go from right to left) from a young age but it seems as if most lefthanders also do this!
Left-handedness is genetic and about 10% of people worldwide are left-handed. One of my four sisters is totally left-handed and cannot do anything with her right. She has a left-handed daughter. The other three are right-handed but one of them has two children that are both left-handed. As for me, I like to think I am non-conformist- physical reaction as an extension of my thought process!