Monday, May 31, 2010
"Never Poison the Food and Water"
This image strikes home the point. The hands of the people are tied. We're stuck in a situation no one appears able to get us out of. And the folks running the show seem content to let this year's disaster torture us for our resources and plug us one in the head.
This isn't a new story, though we have updated the product placement.
Because this was a demonstration. This was a gathering of people who dare to call attention to several glaring errors on the part of the government and the unregulated free market.
Again. Because this ain't the first time a predicted worst-case scenario has come to pass. When history looks back at this decade, that will be the theme.
I was drawn to this intentionally misspelled poster because it drives home another point: LOSEiana. It sure seems like we're snakebit down in "this part of the world." As a matter of fact, and this point was made more than once this afternoon (and sometimes in colorful terms), what's next? A volcano? A meteor?
This decade, their have been several major calamities affecting our nation, by my count. Any one of these would have crippled many other nations entirely. For the US as a whole, we take it on the chin and keep moving.
This is a blessing and a curse. We are dynamic enough to handle many problems in quick succession, but we tend to move on too quickly. We don't like to learn the lessons that might prevent small problems from becoming much bigger problems.
We don't like to look back into our own history for precedent and accept that the things that have happened before are likely to happen again.
Lastly, we tend to sell ourselves the theory that "blame" can be compartmentalized.
Any one of the catastrophes we have faced since 2001 would have crippled many other nations entirely.
So it says a lot that two of those catastophes have now tremendously and disproportionately impacted Louisiana.
It speaks to the wisdom of our nation's founders that federalism is able to help mitigate the affect of these catastrophes. It speaks to the weakness of our modern institutions that such mitigation is often incomplete, frustrating to implement, plagued with insufficient priorities and often easily taken advantage of the well connected or conniving.
It speaks volumes that our modern discourse refuses to focus. We will be plagued with the inability to formulate cohesive solutions to our internal problems as long as our common history has zero cohesion as it is told to us. We cannot find a solution to a problem while intentionally ignoring or misrepresenting that problem. And yet those are the terms in which the "problem solvers" attempt to communicate with each other.
Without coherence and focus, those affected by calamity often see their legitimate grievances dismissed; they are accused of whining or overstating the damage to serve a lawsuit or some political goal.
One can only hope that those with the temerity to derisively question the very reality we face will one day endure the discredit they so richly deserve.