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The World As We Know It

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Warning: The following material is obscene, explicit, and depressing. If you have a delicate constitution and choose to read it anyway, good for you.

As Hurricane Alex, the first to hit since the oil spill, passes over the Gulf states, workers are frantically cleaning up oil from the beaches they just finished cleaning. I imagine every storm for quite awhile will be dumping fresh oil (if you can call this nasty stuff ‘fresh’) onto the sand, and this arduous, health-compromising cleanup will begin anew. Kind of makes you think of Sisyphus and his boulder, doesn’t it?

Depending on your age, it’s a very different planet than the one we knew as children. Deadly floods. Lethal storms. Devastating earthquakes. More bad air days than good. Mud slides, fires, tsunamis, outsized snowstorms, winter weather in May and summer weather in January. CancerCancerCancer. More babies born with physical and mental disabilities, more kids getting strange and debilitating illnesses from toxins in the environment. An ocean that might be ruined beyond redemption. Don’t expect oysters, or any fruits of the sea, any time soon.

No Comment Department: A video by John Walthen, shot from the sky, of the oil-covered sea and dying dolphins.

In addition to this planetary breakdown we predicted and are witnessing, the social structure isn’t holding up too well either. No work. No money. No housing. No health care. More and more people dying of poverty’s repercussions. More prisons, fewer schools, all part of a self-perpetuating cycle that’s both cause and effect of more violence, hatred and fear. WarWarWar. More guns let loose in our cities. A dysfunctional, vitriolic political system. Marx predicted that capitalism would implode on itself. It seems to be doing just that.

Meanwhile, we each focus on our little corner of the world and try to hold body and soul together. Yesterday I wrote on my business blog about my own puny concerns, the world of online writing. Today I seem to have returned to what is becoming an almost constant state of grief for our dying planet. I don’t believe in God and prayer, but I offer a kind of prayer first heard 35 years ago in Lily Tomlin’s The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.



One response »

  1. It’s easier to live with if you’re on the right – you can deny any of it is happening (or, at the very least, downplay the impact and importance of each event/trend). That’s how they’re able to sleep at night.

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