Wednesday, October 11, 2006

“If we could only find the courage to leave our destiny to chance, to accept the fundamental mystery of our lives, then we might be closer to the sort of happiness that comes with innocence.” Luis Buñel, “My Last Sigh.”

It was heartening to see that the “most e-mailed story” in the “Los Angeles Times” (for a few hours anyway) was about the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

A critic of Vladimir Putin, of the war in Chechnya, and lots of other ills usually associated with Putin, somebody shot her in the face at home.

She was buried yesterday and hundreds showed up to mourn this women whose name sounded like "political reporter" - Politkovskaya.

"The Times” article suggests an air of desperation regarding the future of Russia’s democracy blanketed the proceedings.

Gracious in battle, gracious in remembrance, Putin told the St. Petersburg Dialogue Forum, that her murder was a bad thing...a bad thing for Russia, “almost as damaging as her writings were to Russia.”

And just in case anybody was looking at him as some kind of responsible party, Putin had a few suspects ready to discuss.

“We have information, and it is reliable, that many people hiding from Russian justice have long been nurturing the idea of sacrificing somebody in order to create a wave of anti-Russia feeling in the world,” Putin said.

He left out the, “because they hate freedom” part.

highwayscribery does not want to get into the relative virtues of press freedom in the U.S., Russia, or Mexico, or blame Putin or somebody pretending to be Putin.

The point’s the same and they should all rot someplace hot.

highwayscribery merely wants to lament the death of a comrade in calling. It is a terrible thing that civic work like journalism must be done under the threat of death, but such is the reality everywhere, and the scribe emphasizes everywhere, in the world.

And take it from highwayscribery, it makes one consider the virtue of shutting up, closing down, and watching reruns of “That ’70s Show” with everyone else.

There is not an endless supply of people willing to throw things over, for the good of others, at great risk to themselves, in the name of truth and other such expensive items. Each generation gets a few, if it’s lucky. When these people are gone they are gone and Russia, the article would suggest, is clearly the poorer after Politkovskaya’s unjust exist.

Will we never know a time of civility, a stepping back from each, a giving of space, a faint pledge of simple cooperation?

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