By Wafic Khalil
“PCC President escapes!”
That’s what a friend humorously wrote to me upon reading the news of Dr. Erika Endrijonas’ selection to lead Santa Barbara Community College.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue, a bigger question looms regarding the thinking of the far right and the far left. Do they differ? Are there any similarities? A published piece by Cambridge University Press & Assessment delved into this very issue and concluded:
“…when the views of the far left and far right are evaluated against the standard left–right ideological dimension, they can appropriately be classified at opposite ends of the political spectrum. But when the two camps are evaluated on questions of political and psychological style, the treatment of political opponents, and the tactics that they are willing to employ to achieve their ends, they display many parallels that can rightly be labelled authoritarian.“
Whenever there’s an election, there’s hope. Hope for a new generation of humans infusing change, good change. Sometimes lack of experience is an opportunity to have an open mind, learn from the ones before us and forge a new path.
The colorful flowers in my office, placed in a vase on my desk, remind me of a friend that passed away recently. The flowers are starting to rot and smell, but I can’t seem to find it in me to throw them away. Am I trying to hang onto the memory of my friend through them? I know it is not logical. I understand the implications — and consequences — of leaving the flowers longer than their shelf life, and yet I hang on to them. Is this also true of ideological beliefs that make some hang onto a party, a person, long after they’ve shown their true colors, only because it reminds them of the old times?
I miss my mother.
Everyone that experiences the loss of a loving parent knows how they never leave their sight. You talk to them at every juncture in life, every corner, every happy occasion. Sometimes at the least expected moment in your life, they pop up. You have a wonderful internal conversation, and you move on with your day, feeling content. The people we love never die.
I went to Litfest in the Dena this past weekend. After attending a friend’s memorial, I headed towards Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena. Walking the hallways of the Mausoleum was a surreal experience. A maze of dead people all around you. The panels were equally interesting and rewarding. It was great to see people we haven’t seen in three years and meet new friends along the way…Litfest in the Dena was a great success for the weekend. We need more art in this world to counter all the negativity of radicals taking it to the extreme ends.
Two wonderful events took place recently. The Eclectic in South Pasadena and the Sierra Madre Art Fair. The Eclectic had art displays with tents filled with colorful pieces. The music seemed to be an afterthought. Overall, it was a nice afternoon, strolling Mission Street and soaking in the nice weather. The Sierra Madre Art Fair was a nice event after three years of hiatus due to the pandemic. A friend commented that the two-day festival “visually nourished the eyes while the music uplifted the soul.” The Eclectic in South Pasadena, The Art Fair in Sierra Madre, Litfest in Altadena, along with Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival, Alhambra Eco Fair, and PUSD Science Fest on Earth Day celebration at John Muir, cast a whiff of positive vibes in the area. May Spring and Summer bring more uplifting events to our communities.
‘The This and That’ column appeared in the May, 2023, print edition.
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