So, let’s see…
1) Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, apparently has enough support to fire an endless number of rockets into Israel and even has the capacity to destroy ships. Conversely, Israel is blowing Lebanon back into the 15th century, with massive civilian casualties, entire families being vaporized, and a blank check from the rest of the world.
2) Iraq is in full-blown civil war, and the situation has gotten so bad that the Sunnis are asking the Americans to stay. Which they are, and when we’re not dying in waves, we’re dying on average about one soldier a day. That’s one of your high school classmates, worse off than you, going to serve and coming home in a box. Once a day. For a war based on utter lies.
3) The power is out in New York City, St. Louis, and all over California. Temperatures from yesterday and today have shattered records. 2006, so far, has been the hottest year in recorded history, and estimated to be the hottest year in 400 years. What was in second place? Last year.
4. Gas is the most expensive it has ever been in this country, going over $3 a gallon. This absolutely kills low income families not lucky enough to live in a place with realistic public transportation (pretty much everywhere not called New York, Chicago, Seattle and Washington D.C.)
5. Bush just spent his first veto on the only ray of hope to come out of this year’s political fiasco: a real stem cell bill passed by the Senate. Paraplegics, those with ALS, Parkinsons, macular degeneration and Alzheimers are all told to fuck off. By the way, one out of two men (and 1/3 of women) reading this blog will get cancer if current rates persist. If your cure does not come in time, you will know who stopped it.
6. Rent The Corporation. We watched it last night, and while it can be literal and heavy-handed, you will not come away unaffected. It is so depressing that it made me want to curl up with Tessa and Lucy and never leave our bed.
7. Which we can’t do, because Lucy is so uncomfortable with her heat rash on her back and arms because of the weather. Watching her writhe in misery absolutely floors me – I just want to take all of her pain away (fortunately, hydrocortisone did the trick).
These are desperately bad times, no matter how comfortable you feel. You may like your job where you’re reading this, you may find your home office or laptop a little piece of serenity, but the world is in mid-disaster. Things move slow enough not to be noticed, but they’re happening. You’re living history, you just don’t know it. They didn’t know it in 1066, 1215, 1512, or 1848. They didn’t know it when the medieval sickness came from Italy, they didn’t know it when Noah began pounding.
I’m reminded of two quotes, one from George Orwell:
“We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”
And of course, this from Christopher Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus”:
FAUSTUS: Where are you damned?
MEPHISTOPHILIS: In hell.
FAUSTUS: How comes it then, that thou art out of hell?
MEPHISTOPHILIS: Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it.