Thank you again to all of you who took the time to get in touch with us this week. We're still receiving a lot of comments about my Can I Just Tell You? commentary on the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Sen. Barack Obama controversy. It's been creeping up NPR's most e-mailed stories list. Thanks for sharing it.
(Of course, now I am thinking of all the other examples I could have cited of fake media self righteousness, like ... No. Never mind. I won't go there. Let me get my pressure back down.)
Here's what we're debating for next week's conversations:
There's a new short film by a Dutch parliamentarian making its rounds on Internet. It recounts the atrocities committed by Islamic extremists and makes the case that Islamic fundamentalists are waging a war on western culture and freedom.
Some say it's a provocative stand for free speech, others a gratuitous and irresponsible assault on a worldwide religious community.
Remember the cartoons published in a Danish newspaper that depicted the prophet Muhammad in a negative light, touching off worldwide protests in 2006? Will this have the same effect? So far, no. But this comes in the face of existing threats by Al Qaeda leaders against western targets.
We'll keep watching the story.
And, the big elections in Zimbabwe are Saturday. We hope we'll be able to offer some results, along with analysis, by Monday.
We're also working on stories for you about Women's History Month. Although March is coming to a close, our interest in women's history is not. We still have a few more stories to tell.
The 40th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., is next week.
I have an ambivalent relationship with anniversaries. On a practical level, they really are unavoidable because they are also news pegs. On a human level, they are unavoidable, too, it seems.
I am not a psychiatrist, but it seems to me that anniversaries mark us even when we are not trying to be conscious of them. ... I can honestly tell you that the first week of May is always a difficult time in my family. We lost a beloved family member during that time under tragic circumstances. It's interesting that we all become "blue" around that week. We "remember" unconsciously, even if we don't decide to remember.
So, perhaps, it is better to decide to remember, if that makes sense. I guess there is a reason why many of the world's religions commemorate the deaths of their key figures, as well as their lives. ... And why many offer rituals to acknowledge deaths of loved ones, however long past.
On the other hand, there is the "let sleeping dogs lie" school, which asks, if we continue to pick at the source of the pain will it ever go away?
Have a great weekend...