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Birthday Letter To My Future Self

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Dear Future Gotham

It occurred to me tonight while at yoga class, being that it's my birthday it might be an interesting idea to write myself a letter to be read by me/you about 25 years from now. Yeah - you read right: I did yoga on the night of my birthday. Lame? Sort of. Cool? Sort of. Do you still downward dog? If you don't, you should. Trust me.

I hope things have settled down in your time. It's a particularly frenetic time right now in 2011. California - where I live these days - is bankrupt as is most of the country on account of some inane and reckless leadership the last decade or so. Unemployment is very high, healthcare is a disaster, and the federal deficit is more than my iPhone can compute. Yeah - iPhones, blackberries, facebook, and twitter. Remember those dinosaurs? Probably the same way I remember television before HD or the NFL before the lockout. Back to America: to be honest, I'm not sure where we go from here. There's a lot of fear in America. Fear of the way the world is flattening and changing. Fear of the way many on the planet are veering toward religious extremism while countless others are abandoning religion altogether.

This week alone, we're watching as another country in the Middle East (Libya) comes apart at the seams. The details are gruesome - another dictator slaughtering his own people, pledging to shed his own blood rather than giving way to the will of his people. This after having bled his own country for the last forty years of their resources and wealth, not to mention generations worth of hopes and dreams. As was the case a few weeks ago with Egypt while similar unrest boiled over there, it's unclear how exactly America plans on playing this Libya eruption. Standing by, expressing indignation, but not interfering seems to be the opus operandi. In a global climate that seems to have little tolerance any more for the US playing policeman, I suppose it's the safest and most reasonable approach...but it leaves me very troubled. When I read about people being butchered in the streets by outsourced mercenaries wielding machetes and AK's or a dictator ordering his airforce to bomb their own citizens, I do think America - or someone - has a moral obligation to step in and do something about it.

Moral - yeah I said it. I know Chopras are supposed to understand the inherent contradictions of the Universe, recognize that good and evil are simply expressions of the same underlying consciousness. But whatever - I've not mastered it yet, and frankly doubt you have too. This Gaddafi #$@% is an evil mother@#$%^# if there ever was one, and he needs to go. I get it by the way - I know he's not the whole problem. But you know what? You got to excise the tumor before you can cure the cancer....Go ahead you can use that line if you want to.

Getting down to the brass tax of this whole Middle East thing, dude - I just paid 4 dollars a gallon for gas in my car. Please tell me that sh!t's been solved because that ain't right. I mean if Libya going nuts is spiking the pumps that bad, what the hell happened when the Saudi regime went bust? Because that happened, right? WDOD then (i.e. what did Obama do)?

Obama - it's only been two years, but it's been a rough ride for my man. People seem to have forgotten how far down the rabbit hole his predecessor took us. For God's sake, no one seems to remember "shock and awe." Shock and awe people - remember that chant?! Yeah sure, the bar was high - impossibly high in retrospect - with all that "Yes we can, yes we did" lingo with Obama, but it was fun for the few weeks that it lasted. I hope Obama got to fill out the two terms he was entitled to - tell me that happened. I really believe if it did, you're in a better place for it.

This afternoon, while eating Baskin Robbins Ice Cream cake with baby Krishu (who's 3.5 - sparing you the math. And I hope for your sake you're still eating Baskins...), I couldn't help but look at his cute little Chindian face and feeling optimistic despite all the madness. I mean, his half Indian, half Chinese, All American complexion is the face of your time, isn't it? it excites me that looking at him I feel like maybe we're on the precipice of abandoning these maddening tribal identities. Do you look back at this time and see it circa when we moved from this survival of the fittest mode to survival of the wisest? Do you remember how tired you were of all the jingoists and Jihadits, the tea partiers and terrorists who frankly all sound the same? Trust me I'm trying my hardest not to go all "can't we all just get along," but can't we all at least agree that we're living in a world of rapidly diminishing resources in which we better learn how to coexist peacefully and sustainably? The alternative I suppose is indeed a (ironic) unified last stand as we all circle the drain together. Glass half full...

I'm going to wrap this up. You probably should go to sleep or smoke a joint or something, you old bastard. That's legal now, right? Plus I want to watch Sportscenter - the Knicks traded for Carmelo Anthony today. I need to scout their highlights and make sure they're not a serious threat to our Celtics. Yeah - I know, some tribal allegiances never die. Like I said, the Universe is full of contradictions. I get it.

Ciao -

Gotham Chopra 2011

Gotham Chopra regularly blogs at www.intent.com

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