Meanwhile, Back in the Real World, Life Goes On…

Trying to keep up with the news, as some of us do, you could get depressed. Just as you thought it couldn’t get any worse, ta-daah! Not content with making mischief in Afghanistan, Taliban terrorists are swarming all over Pakistan, threatening to take over the country – and its nuclear arms. North Korea is firing missiles, developing atomic warheads and trying female journalists as spies. Civil war is erupting again in Iraq as Shiites and Sunis square off against each other in preparation for the departure of U.S. troops. Iran’s tinpot despot is making ominous noises and holding an innocent American woman on trumped-up charges.  A dangerous new government has taken over in Israel, dashing any imminent hope of Mideast peace. The global economy seems to be spiraling into a bottomless pit…

Back in the United States, plants are closing. The unemployment lines are growing. States are wrestling with budget crises yet in a few cases refusing financial help from the federal government because some politician doesn’t like President Obama. Crazy people are arming themselves and talking revolution, egged on by irresponsible media demagogues like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. And each day brings more chilling revelations of Bush-era torture policies.

On top of all that comes news of a possible swine flu pandemic. It’s enough to make this blogger throw up his hands in despair. What could I possibly say that might be helpful?

But this morning, I received a video from Margaret Marshall, host of the Backyard Labrish radio show. And it made me realize that there’s more to life than the stuff in the news. Real people are going on with their real lives, and some people are doing some really cool stuff. Enjoy:


In case you’re interested, Vanessa-Mae is not Jamaican, even though she’s playing Jamaican music in the video. The 30-year-old musician was born in Singapore to a Thai father and a Chinese mother and grew up in London. But I am sure we would award her honorary Jamaican citizenship after this performance.