Friday, January 30, 2004

I've been having an Elvis Presley couple of days, alternating between uppers to get me going and downers to calm me down. No speed and barbituates for me, though, coffee and chamomile tea is enough to get me through a few cycles of highs and lows. But I've miscalculated, as these things go, and I am on a high when I should be crashing.
A two hour phone conversation with a recent political refugee from Iran about the pitfalls of Iranian nationalism has also contributed to this feeling of sleepless agitation. I wont re-trace the conversation here, but the short of it was that he was defending notions of "national honor" and "the national good" while at the same time distancing himself from chauvinistic definitions of what constitutes a nation. I was too annoyed to be nuanced, so I basically stuck with the claim that at the end of the day, all nationalisms are foul.
I know, of course, that it is more complicated than this and my own contradictory feelings/thoughts vis-a-vis what I consider my people, my country, etc. are a testament to how messy this stuff gets. It's revolting and yet can be so exhilarating, which explains why even the brightest and most critical people are vulnerable to becoming periodically intoxicated with nationalist fervor.
On the brighter side of things, it looks like me being all riled up will have a happy ending, at least for tonight. Some of my brother's friends have unexpectedly shown up, and I have plenty of energy to channel into being a hospitable hostess.