Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Vetting the Chocolate for Symmetry

Two things that it is hoped you will never see on JunkThief are posts with titles like “50 Things About Me” or “Random Thoughts on a Tuesday.” Granted, JunkThief is very fond of randomness, the synergy of synchronicity, and just plain dumb luck. But the phrase “random thoughts” is just too overflowing with contradictory linear imagery. And, as you all know, JunkThief is anything but linear.

A nifty new book in the JunkThief library is, appropriately, Symmetry – The Ordering Principle by David Wade, a svelte 58-page volume that magically weaves art, mathematics and 19th and 18th century woodblock prints. JunkThief has long wrestled with his perfectionist symmetrical tendencies and striving towards wabi-sabi rough hewn informality, and these two sometimes merge, only to leave him wondering if this convergence is an illusion or self-deception.

Trying to decide which of these to embrace is part of the eternal process of vetting. That word is not used by JunkThief multiple times a day but probably manages to weave into a conversation or email 4-5 times a week. Needless to say it was given pause when one of his coworkers, who has a Ph.D. from that school in Cambridge that starts with an H asked him while reading a forwarded email, “’Vetting’? Is that something that can be used as a verb?” Yes, it actually can, and she seemed to grasp that it is sort of like sifting and sorting, though more specifically;

To examine or investigate (especially a person) thoroughly; to check someone for suitability or reliability for a particular activity, especially a job which requires a high degree of loyalty or trust

Being in the process of hiring people for three positions and dealing with 300-350 resumes, vetting is a word passed back and forth a lot with HR. JunkThief goes through the vetting process in many corners of his life and often finds that all the grains of sand fall through the sieve.

Today’s “resignation” by Cindy Sheehan, came barely 12 hours after JunkThief was having a conversation last night with fellow blogger/writer The Blue Elephant about activists in general and the work of Medea Benjamin and Code Pink in general. JunkThief made some brash statement about her and then retracted them partially by saying that while he probably agrees with most of Benjamin and Sheehan’s points, he just don’t want to listen to what he often finds to be shrill rhetoric. Then he looked a number of Benjamin’s video clips before work this morning and was amazed by how balanced and sane she sounds in interviews.

What’s saddest about Sheehan’s “retirement” is how some of statements almost echo Nixon’s gubernatorial concession speech. ``Good-bye America ... you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can't make you be that country unless you want it,'' she said. ``It's up to you now.'' Further she went on to say that she was the face of the anti-war movement, something that plenty of other activists could take as an insult. It is easy to understand why she would be so fatigued, angry, discouraged and confused. But it’s hard to understand why someone who dedicated so much time to a cause would give up at a point when public opinion has changed dramatically, no doubt in part due to her efforts, even if the White House has not budged.

It will take time to know if all of her work made any difference or how she’ll be remembered.

The hopelessly randomness of all these comings and goings swirled into JunkThief’s mind as the bill and chocolates came at the end of dinner down the street at Manivanh this evening. Eating there three to four times a month, JunkThief has never been given the same brand of chocolates twice. Tonight’s offering was the best yet from Hoshall’s Salon and Spa in Folsom, California, bringing a touch of comfort in knowing that each person plays his or her own role as a JunkThief to move the world randomly forward.

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At 6:32 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Well, I'm glad you managed to keep that post completely linear.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Scot said...

It sounds as though Sheehan is breaking up with America. I think her story should have been added to the comments on "Flowers on the Graves of Bad Boyfriends" (paraphrased the post title.

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

DAVE - Linear? Oh, that's what I meant when I said "I can't even think straight."

SCOT - Actually America is the one ex I just cannot ever forgive.

At 6:16 PM, Blogger Eva the Deadbeat said...

Oh Junk Thief - how do you manage to write so many amazing posts?! You really do WOW me.

I spent a day with Sheehan when I did a Stuck in VT vlog about her visit to VT. She is a complex woman, in some ways single-minded and attention-seeking and in other ways, selfless, dedicated and hard working. I am sad to hear that she has given up but impressed by all she did.

I am gonna be in Cali June 6th-14th (probably in LA June 11-14th). You around?!?! Yips! Calling all deadbeats and junk thieves! let the madness commence!!!!


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