Hello and welcome to another installment of Thoughts & Musings, the section of A Certain Point of View, Too where I don’t write reviews, politically-themed opinion pieces, or talk about ongoing or past projects. Those are my favorite things to blog about, but sometimes it’s nice to mimic Seinfeld and blog about…well, not quite nothing, but certainly nothing that falls neatly into a particular category.
Here in my corner of Florida it is a hot mid-summer afternoon; currently, the temperature outside is 93˚F (34˚C) under mostly sunny skies. With a southwesterly breeze of 6 MPH and humidity at 63%, the feels-like temperature is 113˚F (44˚C)! Even if I had an iota of interest in going out for a walk, there’s no way that I would, not in this heat. My heart goes out to those essential workers – like postal carriers, landscapers, Amazon Prime drivers, pizza delivery drivers, law enforcement officers, and others – who carry on with their daily work as best as they can during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Last night I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary; I watched two episodes of The War: A Ken Burns Film on Blu-ray and drank a can of Seagram’s Escapes fruit-flavored beer. After that, I went to bed extremely late; don’t ask me at what time, because I honestly don’t know. It was well past midnight, though, and even though I woke up almost at 10 AM (Eastern), I have felt unusually tired and unfocused all day. Tired…unfocused…and a bit unmotivated to do anything useful.
I did read a couple of chapters from Lawrence Wright’s 2006 book The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, which I purchased earlier this week after watching Hulu’s miniseries The Looming Tower. Unlike the 10-part miniseries, which focuses on the three years that pass between the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 9/11 attacks and the tragic role played by the fierce interagency rivalry between the CIA and the FBI in the U.S. intelligence community’s in ability to prevent the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, Wright’s book explores the origins of Islamic radicalism, the emergence of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in the late 1980s, and the petty bickering between the two agencies tasked to protect America from overseas-based terrorists.
So far I have read four complete chapters of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 and find the book fascinating and thought-provoking. I’m nowhere close to the point in the timeline where the 2018 miniseries (or, as Hulu refers to it, a limited series) begins; I’m still in the section of the book where Wright follows bin Laden from his family home in Saudi Arabia to the mountains of Afghanistan in the mid-to-late Eighties. If I recall correctly, I put the book down just as bin Laden starts gathering Arab jihadis to form Al-Qaeda and builds – using workers and heavy machinery from the Saudi Binladen Group, the huge construction and engineering company founded in the Fifties by Osama’s father Mohammed – a fortified complex in the caves of Tora Bora.
As for the rest of my Friday, I have no clue as to what I’ll be doing after I post this on WordPress. I have a mild headache and don’t really feel like gaming, watching a movie, or anything that requires much thought. Maybe if I’d had a cup of coffee or two, I’d feel a mite more motivated. We have coffee but no milk or orange juice, so my breakfast – which was really lunch – was two slices of pizza and a Coke.
Well, that’s all the news I have that are fit to print, so I’ll close for now. I do need to go wash my hair and change out of my PJs and into “street clothes,” even if it is just to go read a few more chapters from The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.