21 January 2009
Change in the Air
I couldn't let this day pass by quietly, even if I've been very quiet lately. It is so nice to be back in a country where hope and enthusiasm is in the air instead of fear and I only now feel like America is coming back. It has been a year now that we've been in the States and in that year I've been very overwhelmed with everything. There are too many choices to make here and yet it has felt like there are no real choices to be made.
Let us take for example television. Here it is taken for granted that you must order cable or satellite in order to get anything "decent" to watch. I'm fine with that if I actually got choices in the things that are worth watching. The truth is most of what is available is complete crap and there are so many channels that you never watch or really would want to (do we really need 15 channels of high definition game replays of college sports 24 hours a day?). So, to get CNN and the BBC channel we wind up paying an average of $80 a month -for only two channels we actually want! I miss being able to see geographic programs, travel channels (of places other than America by Americans), cultural programing and even the variety shows you can see in Europe. We lived with less than ten channels in Italy yet we watched much more quality programming. I suppose that is what everyone here refers to as the "paradox of choice."
So I'm refreshed to tell you that after a long slumber it looks like things will change here and hopefully it is not too late. While I was listening to the inauguration of President Obama on the radio I couldn't help but cry. I was crying for the terrible things that have happened (September 11, the failing markets, the wars, the fears, the rampant cynicism, the state of the educational system and lack of healthcare for all). I'm hoping all of these things will pass and it certainly appears that at least it is on the agenda for things to be done. As for me -well I'm also changing and hoping for the future. I am expecting my second child soon and I am thrilled at the idea that all of us can actually improve things for ourselves and for all children -YES, WE CAN!