High End Best
Change is a fact, a pervasive fact.
At 0256 GMT on 21 July 1969, Neil Armstrong said, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," as he stepped out of the lunar module onto the Moon's surface. The Eagle had landed after an accelerated program brilliantly executed by Americans driven to peak performance by an inspirational John F. Kennedy.
In the middle of the last century, change in all areas of human endeavor began accelerating at a staggering rate. For the first time, we became aware of the serious effect we have on the natural world. Cheap world-wide communication became a reality.
In 1972, twenty blocks from my apartment down Broadway, in Teacher's Restaurant, I asked the guy at the next table where he was from, and what was he doing in New York.
He told me that he was from upstate, and that as part of a team, he was installing repeater transceivers for a new phone system. Years before, I had had a ham radio license, so I had at least a vague idea of what he was talking about, but what he told me had no real impact.
Thirty-five years ago if some one had told you that you could push buttons on a 2 oz plastic and metal machine that was unconnected to anything by wires, and have a 2-way conversation from virtually anywhere to virtually anywhere, would you have paid much attention to him?
Ten years ago would you have believed that you would be able to order a movie and begin watching it on your TV or computer immediately?
Things never imagined happen day after day right before our eyes.
Unsilent Night New York
A musical holiday parade! "In what is now a holiday rite, Phil Kline's boombox Christmas parade starts working its way eastward from Washington Square Park as the amplified drones and chimes and bells echo off buildings, stop traffic, baffle passers-by and encourage taxi horns to chime in.
The best video of the Fire Crackers on the Internet
Yes, I know, a commercial first... but worth it. Wouldn't you agree?
Terrorism and our response
In 1991 if someone had told you that there was going to be a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, would it have registered?
On 911 I heard a report on the radio of a plane flying into one of the twin towers. I thought, this is a shock jock going way too far, to give a kick to his listeners.
But just to be sure, I walked five floors up to the roof, and along with 15 of my fellow tenants, I saw the smoke rising from the first impact, and moments later I saw the second impact right before my eyes. And then we watched as the towers disappeared from the horizon, with clouds of deadly black smoke penetrating a perfect blue sky.
We wanted to believe that somehow it was all a tragic mistake, but one of the tenants whose brother is an airline pilot told us that this was no accident -- as if in our hearts we didn't already know that the world would never be the same.
Later that night, there were candles on the side walk every five feet or so up and down Broadway, put there by citizens of all ethnicities. It made me proud to be a New Yorker.
Are we are so astounded, so overwhelmed by the accelerated change that we can scarcely comprehend the new world order?
Can generosity and intelligence transcend fear and greed?
Change produces uncertainty and that's a helluva thing. But change is a fact, a pervasive fact, whether we like it or not. So what can we do, what will we do, and what are we doing to prevent the decline of civilization and improve lives for everyone world wide?
Is there an essential goodness and intelligence in humankind that will turn this world-wide malaise around? Will we bring out the best in ourselves and others? Will generosity transcend greed. Will we beat swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks? Technology makes this possible. But do we have the will?
Is there anything to celebrate?
In the face of the anxiety of our times, High End Best is a celebration of innovation, compassion, intelligence, generosity, resourcefulness, creativity, curiosity, love, commitment, humor, people doing good, and the beauty they provide. I hope you get something out of it.
High End Best opened Thanksgiving Day 2009
High End Best opened on Thanksgiving Day 2009. Come back often to see what's new and please let me know what you think.
Dramatic, beautiful, clever, heartbreaking.
But please let me know what you think
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If you like what you see here, please recommend HighEndBest.com to your friends.
In the words of my mentor, the late, great, Charles Guggenheim,
"Keep your nerve!"
In the words of my Dad,
"Never give up hope."
Until next time,
Copyright © 2009 by David Abramson
All Rights Reserved,
including the right of reproduction
in whole or in part in any form.