Pop

*Activity Being Procrastinated: rewrites
*Music In My Head: Alice – Avril Lavigne
*Tea: mango and passionfruit
*Books Being Read: The Indian Clerk – David Leavitt, The Empty Family – Colm Toibin

This year at Christmas, my sisters and I tried something new: our presents to each other were the promise of a Sister Weekend. That would be all four of us in a hotel room, away from the distraction of our families and dishes and laundry. With lots of tea. And an obligation to eat dessert at every meal.

We terrorised Buffalo this past weekend.

It was everything we thought it would be.

Of course, it was the mealtime discussions that provided the most entertainment for the people around us. Sunday morning – a 7 a.m. breakfast at IHOP (we couldn’t fit in breakfast and dessert, so we had dessert for breakfast) – was a debate about nicknames. Sister #2 has been known as “Proximity Child” for a couple of years because she lives in the same town as our parents and therefore reaps the benefits of being close to people who always have extra homemade bread, etc. Sister #3 has been known as “Golden Child” since we were teenagers because she never seems to get in trouble with the Parental Units, no matter what she does. Sister #4 is hereby known as “Whiny Child” because I have to get her back for the new nickname she gave me.

I, Sister #0, refuse to answer to “Bubble Child”.

While you may believe I live in a bubble, it’s rude to mock the bubble publicly.

Besides. I like my bubble. A lot. So there. Stay out of my bubble.

My bubble has taken a bit of a beating the last couple of weeks. Actually, I’m not sure it’s even intact anymore. It may have an ozone-hole-sized hole in it. It has nothing to do with greenhouse gases, so you should just can the jokes about digestive gases.

Two weeks ago, Sri Sathya Sai Baba died. On Easter Sunday. While I may have certain opinions about the day they chose to take him off life-support, no one has asked about these opinions so I won’t voice them. My client, the one who is a devotee of Sai Baba, is doing alright now that the ordeal is over. The bubble-battering was done by CBC: their announcement of Sri Sathya Sai’s death was, by no means, an obituary. They included all the sordid details of sex scandals and false miracles. This is what his followers saw the day their god died. All these people – whose lifetime goal is to create peace and happiness in the world through selflessness, who follow the motto “Love all, hurt never” – were greeted with a list of every sin the man was ever accused of.

Bubble Rule: In The Bubble, an obituary must be printed at the time of death. The people who love the deceased – the ones who are still alive and sad – are to be considered before the ones who didn’t know the deceased. An objective article about the person may only be printed a week after the death. Honesty is a good thing, but there’s a time and a place for everything.

The second serious poke to the bubble took place Sunday night. Barack Obama proudly announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed, and that the United States had his body in their custody. He assured the American citizens of the government’s commitment to “liberty and justice for all”.

Even in The Bubble, bin Laden was a bad guy. He – and his followers – are the sort of people bubble-dwellers have a hard time acknowledging. There’s a level of barbarism that just doesn’t make it into my brain: the kind of barbarism that involves a complete lack of humanity. It’s even beyond animalistic. It’s just plain evil.

This Bubble Dweller hoped that the civilised government of a civilised country would never stoop to his level. No civilians would be harmed, no bombs or guns used (because the only purpose to these things is killing). This Bubble Dweller hoped that – because he was human – Osama bin Laden would be arrested and tried, just as any American would be had they done such evil things. Though this Bubble Dweller is completely opposed to capital punishment, lethal injection would have seemed reasonable in this case. We are, after all, human, and are therefore inclined to a certain degree of retaliation.

But, no. Instead, the government denied bin Laden justice and stooped below his level. A manhunt and a body snatch. And photographs of the event.

If any one person had done such a thing, we would be yelling “EVIL!”

Now, people are cheering.  It was a government that did it.  Mob mentality.  I believe William Golding deals with that in Lord of the Flies, does he not?

Bubble Rule: If it’s alive, it must be treated the same way you would like to be treated. We’re coming up to the anniversary of James Connolly’s death, when he was tied to a chair because he was too wounded to stand up for his execution. The British thought they were doing the “liberty and justice for all” thing, too; look at what the world thinks of them now.

This week I’m hiding out within my four walls, trying to repair the bubble. I’m surprised: I always thought spherical shapes were pretty strong. I was also sure that the walls were… I was going to say “flexible”, but I know what my mother would say about me an’ that word so I’ll use the word “impregnable”. I’m going to stop reading the CBC website and return to my writing. At least my characters understand the consequences of their actions.

Oh, wait. Someone outside is cutting the grass, and it smells really, really good. It’s sunny and relatively warm out there. Maybe I’ll poke my head through one of the holes just for another hour.

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