Her: I showed my friend your picture and told her that you’re almost 49. She said, “He looks 32!” And she’s Asian!
Me: Whoa, now that’s a compliment.
Her: I’ll send it to you so you can frame it in your room.
Me: God, yes please…
I’m turning 49 in a week. On the one hand, I realize that not everyone gets to celebrate turning a year older so I’m lucky to have the chance.
On the other hand, every passing year gives me anxiety, not so much that I’ll die – although there is that – so much as I feel I’m running out of time to give the boy the tools I think he’ll need to navigate this world.
In some way, this blog itself is a tool for him.
I try to write as honestly as I can so that he can get what knowledge he can about why I am as I am and how I think.
Suppose time will tell if this is a good or terrible idea.
Her: You’re not worried about all the stuff you write about?
Me: No. Because I write about life and life itself is questionable and complex. If nothing else, he’ll read this blog and know that Alison and I loved him and I loved her. That works for me.
Her: I’m just visiting a few different schools. Wait, you’re the knife guy!
Me: What? (laughs) I’ve never had anyone call me that before.
Her: Really? But you are the knife guy, yeah?
Me: So it would seem.
There’s a place called the Summer Palace (頤和園; Yíhéyuán) that was the pinnacle of luxury and glory back in the days of Imperial China.
The legend goes – and this might just be pure sexism against someone that was actually awful but also happened to be a woman – that the Empress Dowager Cixi embezzled funds from the Chinese Navy to pay for work with it.
At the time, the Chinese navy was supposed to be the strongest navy in all of Asia. But when the Japanese invaded and the navy was totally trounced, the truth was uncovered – all of their technological and personnel advancements were just fluff.
Regardless if it was the Dowager or someone/something else embezzling the money, the money that was supposed to get to the military, never made it there.
Here, we’re seeing the same thing in Russia versus Ukraine. Just like China was supposed to easily beat Japan, Russia was supposed to easily beat Ukraine. But how does a politician like Putin own things like $700 million yachts?
I suspect the same way the Dowager could afford a second palace.
In 2022, China is still struggling to be the equal of the west, because of this national theft.
Think that that 2122’s Russia – provided we didn’t annihilate the world via nukes by then – will still be struggling with cascading consequences of what’s happening right now.
Who the fuck needs a second palace or a $700 million yacht?
There’s a name that instantly pulls every lawyer in America back to their first year of law school: Palsgraf.
It’s a long story, but it too is a story of unforeseen, cascading consequences.
The last time I said that name was close to a quarter century ago.
Her: How would you prove the chain of causation in that?
Me: Well, this is first time in my life, I’ve been on a date and the phrase, “Chain of causation” was used. Have you ever dated a lawyer before, Counselor?
Her: God, no.
Me: Yeah, I never fished off the company pier before. Oh wait, you’re gonna make me say it…
Her: Oh, no! You said it! (laughs)
Location: A park, trying to get out of a conversation with a different pretty girl because she was freaking me out
Mood: more conflicted than ever, but for totally different reasons
Music: Any way you want it, that’s the way you need it (Spotify)
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