kam zarrabiThis column is written by Kam Zarrabi of Silver City. He considers his writings random refections, He has authored two books, "Zarathushtra’s Shadow," and "Necessary Illusions." He says "they deal with various aspects of the cultural and psychological evolution of our species as the illustrious, in our own minds, the Homo sapiens sapiens; yes, double sapiens!"

On a Celebration of a Life Well Lived

June 2024
Kam Zarrabi

It was a couple of weeks after my partner of 25 years, Linda Gray, had succumbed to a sudden massive brain hemorrhage exactly a month ago. To help cope with that heart-wrenching loss, I decided to hit the hiking trails in the Boston Hill area.

I had done the same thing once before, right after falling victim to a devastating bout with a serious sinus infection that had led to what I can best describe as a debilitating brain fog and a bout of depression back in 2017. I wasn't young then, either; at 82 the thought of having to stay on psychotherapeutic medications, perhaps for the rest of my life as I was told, whatever was left of it, was too much to accept. After a few weeks, I dumped the pills in the trash and said to Linda: "Honey, I want your approval of what I intend to do. I am going to put my hiking shoes on and push myself to the limits of what my body can take hiking up the Boston Hill trails for as long as I can. If I die of a heart failure or a stroke, so be it; I have already lived a long enough life anyway." Her response was exactly as I expected: "You do what you want to do, anyway; but I do think you know what is best for you; you have my approval, as long as you call me that you are OK."

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Is There a Smell of Change in the Air?

I'm Not Holding My Breath
May 2024
Kam Zarrabi

Having lived here for nearly seventy years, I never thought I’d ever see any open and direct criticism of the Jewish state, Israel, America’s Sacred Cow, no matter what it does. But, something seems to have changed; or has it, really? So, read on!

What’s going on with the anti-war and pro-Palestinian demonstrations by students in some of the most prestigious universities across the country? Don’t they know that the proper and approved way to express your protests is to assemble and demonstrate peacefully, state your opinions and demands, disperse when ordered, and then return to your classrooms like good boys and girls? But if you truly want change, that’s not how it works!

Let’s face some realities that are seldom if ever appreciated: Who are these college-age “kids” between the ages of 18 and 25, and what is their problem?

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Troubling Thoughts

Am I supposed to feel lucky that it's not my problem?
April 2024
Kam Zarrabi

There was a lingering thought burning a hole through my skull that needed to burst out, which it finally has! What triggered this explosive event was a repetitious dog food TV commercial showing individually packaged portions, each with well-balanced nutritional ingredients, which actually looked appetizing enough for human consumption. "How fortunate our pet dogs!" I thought to myself!

That picture was contrasted against the scenes on TV of the wounded and emaciated children struggling to reach meager handouts of scraps, seemingly oblivious of the dangers of bullets and bombs. Those scenes are from Gaza; but there are other equally or even more disturbing pictures coming to us from the war and famine stricken areas of the world, pictures that most of us prefer to ignore. Thanks for the dog food commercials that distract us.

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On the Dilemma of Separation

On the Dilemma of Separation
Philosophical Reflections
March 2024

Kam Zarrabi

Listen to the reed flute as it laments;
Lamenting of the agony of separation:
"Ever since I was cut off from the reed bed,
Man, woman, young and old
Have shed tears of sorrow,
Hearing my cries of desperation.
Oh, where is a heart pained in abandonment,
To comprehend my tormenting nostalgia?
Ah, the agony of separation from one's essence;
And the eternal search for repatriation."

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The Advent of Artificial Intelligence

The Natural Fear of the Unknown
February 1, 2024
Kam Zarrabi

Even though the spirit of adventure in search of the new and the unknown has been the driving force behind all the physical and cultural developments in human civilizations, the instinctive suspicion and fear of anything truly new and unknown has also helped save us against the potential dangers of the new and the unknown. Observing the cautious approach of animals in the wild to any unfamiliar object is a testament to the survival advantage of this natural instinct in which we humans also share.

We could name some of these discoveries that have changed the course of human civilizations throughout the ages in various degrees; among them, the advent of the wheel, bow and arrow, gunpowder, cure for the microbial causes of diseases, electricity, internal combustion engine, nuclear power, computers, the internet, and now artificial intelligence.

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Will What We Are Leaving Behind Stay Behind?

January 2024
Kam Zarrabi

For this first article of 2024, I was planning to write another lighthearted, and pun-loaded piece, but I couldn't remain aloof or blasé and forget about the horrendous human tragedies of the year we have just left behind.

Natural disasters have taken their toll, from earthquakes, floods to droughts and the resulting famine that have taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of our fellow human beings. Of course, we cannot blame nature for doing its thing, even though our own contribution to global warming has been at least partially responsible for some of those catastrophes.

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