Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Any morning when I wake up on my own after having defeated the Night Dementors, not having a hairball deposited (unceremoniously) in my hair, and a fairslept night, has to count as a good one and worthy of mentioning. An attempt to see the more positive side of things.

Later that same day.

Not a bad day. The car didn't need as much work (right now at least) as I thought it would. Spent a fair amount of time working on the graphic novel. All reasonable thangs. I even finally put on my car registration which has been sitting around since August. I mean that took Goo Gone, scraping, vinegar, and finesse.

And I read stuff, posted on one of my other blogs. and then came across 

Help, we’re drowning!: Please pay attention to our disaster

Here in the horrible Colorado flood, people are dead and homes destroyed. But the scary part is everyone's reaction

by someone in clearly in Colorado. We, we readers and writers in this space, know someone in Colorado, near the flooding area. I had the presence of mind to AT LEAST send him an email asking how they were last week and then today I got this: 

Drying out here – no flood damage in my town but lots of friends and some of Sheri’s family who lives in the foothills definitely hurting. Gonna be awhile before all the roads, railroads, sewer lines and the like are back.

Here's the opening paragraph of the article:

As I write this, Colorado’s Front Range is in the middle of its worst natural disaster in about 100 years. For people like me, who live here, it is a flood of tragic proportions. To the world, it is just another disaster. When many of my out-of-town friends, family and colleagues reacted to the flood with a torrent of indifference, I realized something. As a society, we’ve acquired an immunity to crisis. We scan through headlines without understanding how stories impact people, even those we love. Junk news melds with actual emergencies, to the point that we can’t gauge danger anymore.

... A torrent of indifference ... This dovetails with several (that's more than two, right?) conversations(*) I have had recently with folks in my (our) cohort who are mightily struggling with the vicissitudes particular to the economic and social realities of life in this country at the moment. Doesn't seem like there is a lot being done to address this growing problem. I mean, neither me nor any of the peeps I was chatting with are calling from our shopping carts quite yet, but what we do share is frustration and perplexity about how to alleviate our situations. 

[(*) And also with Robert Reich (just stay calm, MDS) who was a guest on Jon Stewart last night and has a new movie, Inequality for All, about some of these topics. Oh and also with all the reports on income disparity and the number of Americans living in poverty today. (Here's one from the Washington Post to get your started.)]

Here's the closing paragraph of the article: 

I’d like to think that in our networked world, it’s easy to comprehend how the things we read about in the news or on social media might be impacting friends and loved ones. It seems, however, that we’re so drowned in data that we’ve become comfortably numb. Even our reactions have become passive, disconnected. Hitting “like” on Facebook or leaving a sympathetic tweet doesn’t come close to the human power of a phone call, especially for someone facing the loss of their home, their health, their life. We’re too disengaged to connect the dots between disaster and its human impact. And that scares me.

Comfortably numb? More like uncomfortably, defensively numb. But that might not be so good, either way.

I'm certainly not implying that any of you, gentle readers and friends, is unkind or unsupportive or inattentive, I'm more addressing you as caring and reasonably active denizens of humankind. What is to be done, really? How are we, how can we help one another? And do we really want to, I mean, as a society? 

Confused in Putnam County, NY.


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