...which roughly translates as: "May you live in interesting times"
Not that I actually know many people who hail from these ancient, oriental lands - let alone whose good auspices I may have transgressed so cruelly that they should feel the need to afflict this curse upon me - but I do, in fact, live in interesting times.
It's often said, "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade", but what if life gives you a plethora of 'interesting' events? Would others find them equally 'interesting' perchance?
Frankly I have no idea - but, in the spirit of "nothing ventured, nothing gained", allow me to present myself, Anton Stewart, your humble servant and New Paltz's newest Gadfly.
Having recently received a firsthand education into the innermost workings and machinations of local government, I must admit to finding the nobel ideals of the Gadfly to be somewhat appealing. I honestly believe that we have a civic duty to question authority - that's question, by the way, not flagrantly disobey.
We should question why and how decisions are made - even if those decisions don't directly affect us. We should question the motives, ethics and standards of those whom we have entrusted to make these decisions along with the fairness and transparency of the entire decision making process.
I believe there is no place for autonomy in a democratic society and that elected officials and civil servants should be held accountable. Government of the people, by the people, for the people is a basic principle upon which this great country of ours is founded and it applies just as much today as it did when our founding fathers wrote it into the constitution.
For my part, I promise to uphold the nobel ideals of the Gadfly by constantly seeking answers to difficult questions even if it makes me, in the words of Sean Connery, "a right, royal pain in the arse"