Literature abounds with references to the hourglass. On one end of the spectrum, W.B. Yeats, an important player in early 20th Century literature wrote a play, The Hourglass, in
1903. While at the other end of the spectrum, Hourglass, a Syrian heavy metal band formed in 2002, released two, apparently popular, full length albums. An hourglass is used as a lead-in to a popular daily soap opera in the U.S. and by myriad poets to depict deep introspection. The hourglass is a significant peace keeper during games of strategy and tactics. Some, like me, just like the physical being of hourglasses; end-to-end sealed wine glasses connected by a small straw through which an exact measure of sand flows at a determined rate to mark the passage of time. An afternoon spent observing the movement of sand between the vessels of an hourglass may shed a small measure of understanding about the world around us.
U.S. brinkmanship, under the guise of peace maker, is a game refined and polished during the Cold War (1947-1991). It is a strategy game the U.S. has frequently and successfully used to align the ‘Free World’ for engagements in mini-wars to liberate some part of the world from an evil government or its leader. While labeled a strategy game, the plays have become so familiar that the game may appear more like a child’s Tic-Tac-Toe game than Days of Wonder’s Memoir ’44 game, which “requires strategic card play, timely dice rolling and an aggressive, yet flexible battle plan to achieve victory.” Recently, the U.S. engaged brinkmanship with Kim Jong-un and North Korea but the game evaporated in the exploding Benghazi scandal. But wait, there’s more!