Monday, July 11, 2005

On Sto·i·cism (stō'ĭ-sĭz'əm), n.

Things are slowly getting back to normal here, though all hope of arriving at your destination on the tube--never a winning proposition during the best of circumstances due to curious occurrences such as "Leaves on Track" or "Not enough staff on duty" (actual messages posted on the write & wipe boards here at various times)--has understandably become impossible given that many of the major lines remain out of commission, including large portions of two of the biggest--the Piccadilly and Circle lines.

While the sheer magnitude of what happened is certainly not of the 9/11 scale which so many of us unfortunately witnessed up close and personally, the effects have been no less traumatic and the ramifications for us all are equally far-reaching. Seeing the photos of the injured, missing and deceased, as well as hearing the stories of those who were on the bombed trains (and bus #30) who lived to tell the tale certainly puts things in our own lives in perspective.

The attitude here is definitely more upbeat than late last week, though if I hear one more proud word about "British stoicism", I will inflict certain bodily injury on the person who utters the phrase and point to the nearest overflowing pub as the major contributor of said "stoicism". Since when did stoicism become a positive attribute anyway? The last time I checked, this was still the definition:
The last time I checked, this was the definition:
sto·i·cism (stō'ĭ-sĭz'əm), n.
Indifference to pleasure or pain; impassiveness.

Be sure to see my upcoming post on my travails with the National Health System here--I suspect this is the Petri dish where this particular trait is fermented.

And lastly, for those of you who've asked, no, Steve and I are really not an innocuous front for an Al Qaeda sleeper cell, despite the fact that wherever we move, terrorism seems to soon follow. (Though just to be on the safe side, I would advise New York City dwellers to perhaps arrange for a long sabbatical in the few months immediately following our return home.)

If you would like to donate to the British Red Cross efforts to aid the bombing victims and their families, click here.


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