Distilling a life

Newsworthy events are rarely just dots in the flowing of time. A life lasts for ninety years. A regime for almost sixty. It’s not even over yet. Can we distill it all in a sentence, a word, a thumb up or a thumb down? 

I think about it. At first it seems wrong, a forced synthesis that doesn’t allow nuances. Life, history in fact, is never that simple. 

And yet there is something liberating. Neutrality is a luxury only distant spectators can enjoy. In its simplicity, the medium takes us away from the comfort of our lives and throws us into the struggle. We are forced to take side. 

A carousel of images run through my mind. It has been a long life.  But the judgment is clear: thumb down.