Monday, July 25, 2005

25 July 2005: Repeat

That time of year again.

I was about to post a quick note featuring the Tour De France, a short non-specific update (possibly rant) about my work and an endorsement for the new Hillsong album that I got last week. Then I looked at the equivalent post from a year ago and realised it would be almost identical, right down to the Tour winner.

Next year will be different. The research is already quite different to a year ago but it should be long-finished and well into the writing-up process by the fourth week in July 2006. The Tour will have a different winner (Basso and Ullrich have to start favourites, but I would still watch out for Valverde, Mancebo and Popovych, and who knows what Vinokourov is capable of if only they can get him to calm down for five minutes. He reminds me a little of Marco Pantani - attacking like crazy off the front one day, paying for it big time the next day - but also of a young Lance Armstrong, who pre-cancer had a habit of launching major attacks and occasionally winning stages, but never looking like a serious contender.) Hillsong will no doubt release another live album, but you need some continuity in this world. But it all got me to thinking, how different is the world today from how it was a year ago?

This Monday morning, life goes on, different headlines from a year ago, but the no new topics. It is London that walks in fear this year, Egypt is counting its dead and yet another suicide bomb in Baghdad has claimed lives this morning. Elsewhere in the world, Mike's cousin is about to be impeached for vote rigging, Helen Clark has called elections in New Zealand for September (she is the most disliked leader I've come across since Thatcher in some quarters, although those quarters are almost exclusively farmers to whom she's not been the kindest), the UN estimates Mugabe just made 700,000 people homeless in Zimbabwe (what a thoughtful leader), the Niger crisis shocks but nobody seems to be doing anything about it and India have released a man they held in prison without trial for fifty years. Wow, and we thought Guantanamo Bay was harsh. And that's all just today's news.

No doubt this time next year there will be a similar set of headlines, maybe not as dramatic, maybe more so. But we learn to get on with our lives, realising that we can't carry the burden of it all on our own individual shoulders, and that we don't have to. It's just worth occasionally reflecting, as I did this morning, on how some things never seem to change year-to-year, and some things change enormously but somehow just seem to stay the same. I guess Solomon was right all along: there truly is nothing new under the sun.

Happy thoughts for a Monday morning. Anyone want a little yellow pill?

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