Thursday, May 27, 2004

The vicissitudes of gold. . .

The gold standard was abandoned some years ago by everyone. Still, gold counted as something and the price of gold would be set in London twice a day by the Rothschild Bank. This practice was terminated only just a short while ago--Not worth the bother any more? Maybe. Maybe just a case of other fish to fry.

Now we have a situation, as a result of the moneys borrowed by the U.S. for the permanent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., where the Dollar is being bolstered (protected) by the Asians: the Chinese and the Japanese, for instance, who buy our Treasury Bonds. This enables the American public to turn a blind eye to the economic reality of perpetual war, because the note will only become due down the line, not in "our" time, and as long as someone else takes up the slack for us, why should we worry our little minds on something like that? When the time to pay comes, we'll think of something else, heh? (Just as when the time comes, we'll think of a way to solve the nuclear waste problem, or the Gulf War Syndrome problem, or the depleted uranium problem, or the climate change problem, and so on.)

Unfortunately, the Dollar has now become weakened a little bit extra in relation, say, to the Euro, because of the skyrocketing price of oil. So all of a sudden, the price of gold has become relevant to the market place once again, and the price of a single ounce of gold is almost at $400. Wow!

This is the window of opportunity for Russia to auction off one of its richest gold mines in Siberia (where else?). Very large reserves. Expected price (non-negotiable bottom line) upward of $150 million.

Cost of future exploitation? Well, don't worry your pretty little heads about that. You already know about that kind of thing: the mines of South Africa and their workforce, the open mines of Brazil. . . Can't afford to be too squeamish or sentimental about such things now: where would it leave us?

How could we ever again give anyone a diamond ring as a token of our undying affection if we ever, ever faced the horrific human cost of production?

* * * * *

My situation is becoming daily more tenuous. It might concern me more actually if it meant more of an actual loss of something that I could claim to own in reality. I don't as a matter of fact have much hold on anything of substance. I am more of a wave than a particle.

When I was a young woman, there were environments where people would be introduced to me as much as--nine times, before recognizing that they had already met me. On one infamous occasion, a man who finally recognized me had me confused with someone else and I could not convince him that I was not that other person. How can you prove a negative?

I used to joke that I was not so much a wallflower as "wall colored", a human cameleon that always hit humanity's blind spot. Was I really colorless, or was I merely transparent? One day that I laughingly said that nobody was interested in my opinion, one of my co-workers gave a little smile and retorted: "To interest people, you should try becoming interesting."

Ah, well.

It reminded me of a lecture someone gave at my school once, where she started out by saying we looked like a bunch of turnips, we were totally uninteresting. After the lecture, during the questions and answers period, I was the first to raise my hand and I asked:

"When you started out, you said that we were uninteresting. Could you please give us a hint as to how we could become more interesting?"

The whole school had laughed, but of course there was no answer.

Could there be room in society for such as I, like: "They also serve, who only stand and--bore?"

Some years ago, when my friend Gil was visiting New York, I told her I was full of regret at not having married and had children "to pass on the flame", as I put it. Her only question was "What if there was no flame to pass on?"

She was right, of course. The flame my parents tried to pass on, the reason they wanted to have children (I have the proof in writing, their letters from the early 30's before they married), was to bring "useful human beings into the world."

"Useful human beings?"

And what would that look like, pray?

My own inner tendency was not so much into usefulness as into doing the best I could at whatever it was I was doing. Not because of pressure from outside, but according to my own drive, according to my own evaluation. After all, who would ever know as I might whether or not I was giving my best effort to anything?

The first time I stood up and experienced this direction was as a boarding school student, where I was consistently first in class but knew I wasn't doing my best, because I didn't do what I hated: learning the weekly passage of the Gospel by heart and properly researching my science homework, neither of which interested me at all. Since I was always in first position despite these failures, no reproach was ever made to me. I looked good on the surface but I knew in my heart that I was not giving my best, and one day I decided to push myself to the unpleasant tasks, to tackle them before all else so as to get them out of the way before enjoying what pleased me. It didn't do me much good with my fellow students, it just widened the existing gap between us, and it certainly did not change the outcome of my life either, but I got an unexpected and valuable bonus for the effort: I discovered science was exceedingly interesting, and it became one of my favorite subjects.

I also realized that interest was often a matter of attention, which is always a choice.

Invisible me, transparent me, colorless me, uncertain me. Am I like a vampire whose reflection does not show in the mirror of reality?

Does it matter? If so, who to?

Ah, its Cui Bono, all over again. Thank heavens for
residual familiarity, we may proceed to have another glorious laundry day!

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