Monday, May 12, 2008

Après le déluge, rien.

By Capt. Fogg

Political and economic repression probably bother the Burmese less of late than the problem of staying alive in the mud along with the rotting corpses of man and beast. It's a natural disaster of bigger than average proportions and some estimate the death toll will be over a million when the toll of disease and malnutrition is paid. The earthquake in Sichuan seems almost inconsequential in comparison and so do the hurricanes, school shootings and lead paint scandals of recent times, yet the "Hillaryobama" chant continues to dominate all three rings of the 24-hour American news circus.

If the magnitude of the tragedy is lost on most of us, the significance of the event is clear to the Apocalypse fans. It's more evidence of the end times. It's more evidence of the the human sacrifice demanding Yahweh "who so loved the world" getting warmed up for the big one. To some, possessed of a more informed and wider view of history, it's just another small incident in a billion years of much worse. To others, it's a demonstration of the perils of overpopulation and poverty. To the more fashionable, it's the alarm bell of the Global Warming warning system. To the religious leaders to whom America listens while condemning Reverend Wright, it probably shows clearly the perils of not accepting their processed Jesus product and at least hints of various sexual improprieties of the oriental sort.

To me? Well I just knew you'd be interested. To me it all means nothing. It means we live very briefly in an unfathomably huge, ancient, and hostile universe in which we and all we do are supremely insignificant except to each other. It means we waste our brief and often miserable lives by pretending it's otherwise.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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