Not feeling quite well today. Started last night, really. Scratchy throat, feverish, weak and tired. So the family went off to Bedugul without me. Why Bedugul? Hm, not sure. Started raining shortly after they left the house and it's been raining off and on ever since. Not my cup a tea, especially where a road trip is involved.
So I'm just doing my own thing here, which turned out to be the pembantu thing, since there is no pembantu. Well, there is, actually. She's me. Did the laundry (but, of course, can't hang it out because of the rain). Ironed. Washed dishes. Waiting now for a break in the weather so that I can go purchase some drinking water.
No JCO coffee today either, I reckon. First off, because of the rain and, secondly, because Mike seems to be angry again about his conspiracy theories. Or, rather, angry at me for disagreeing. The latest involves some guy by the name of Kevin Arnett, a defrocked Canadian Catholic minister, who believes that the Queen of England, in concert with the Catholic Church, George Bush Senior, Henry Kissinger, etc., etc., are involved in the systematic kidnapping, molestation and murder of children from around the world. Arnett points to "mass graves" of Indians, which can be seen, he says, by satellite imagery. At first, the Canadian government was willing to believe, but, as it turns out, they've dug and dug and can't find a thing. Additionally, the leadership of the Canadian tribes has rejected these claims and asked Arnett to leave them alone.
To me, these sorts of conspiracy theories seem like cancers that only grow and obscure. They multiply rapidly and very little seems effective in combating them. They are like the Jungian concept of the complex which grows and swallows up the ego. In short, they are not matters of logic and reason but of paranoia and fear.
The troubling thing is that I have been trying to simply change the subject with Mike, and yet, first thing I know, he's back to the conspiracies again. And it seems that just about any subject can lead to the return. For example, I had recently visited the Bali Peace Gong here in Kertalanggu. Situated around this giant gong are statues of world figures known for their efforts in the name of peace. One statue is of Barack Obama. What interested me, as I watched the people in the park, was that everyone wanted to stand by Obama to have their picture taken -- not Mother Theresa, not Mandela, not even their own Sukarno. Children and adults alike -- straight to Obama!
So I mentioned this to Mike as a point of interest, a sort of testimony to Obama's popularity among the common people of Indonesia. He nodded his head, seemed to be listening, but then piped in with the following:
"Obama, you know, is in big trouble. He's been hobbled. He's been bought by the powers that be and is nothing more than a figurehead now. He does the bidding of the illuminati. If he doesn't they'll kill his wife and children."
And so on.
Obviously, our friendship is becoming a bit difficult and uncomfortable. Which, for me, is sad.