By one count, 22,000 are dead, by another, 23,700. Nature's fist slamming down on the earth, making a massive display of a point that will be lost in the shuffle of petty concerns, greedy enterprise, political wrangling and meanness.
We will memorialize September 11th, 2001 until we as a people, are so tired of the words, we will finally tune it out.
For this extraordinary display of power we have only tasted slightly through the hurricane season, we will have instant amnesia as long as our lives are not directly affected. What an infantile nation, full of self-indulgent children who don't want to learn any lessons from what life brings us.
When the towers fell, I had the thought that one slap from the planet could take entire countries out with a single event. And it has nearly done so.
Will we learn anything from this might, which in the eye of a rational beholder, reduces humanity to the importance of dust? Isn't it time to begin the long journey toward adulthood and perspective? Isn't it time for us to be a little bit kinder, a little less interfering with the happiness of others?
I have a friend whose family is in Sri Lanka, another whose family is in Malaysia. What can I say to these people? So much grief may await me in my mailbox one day in the near future. What consolation can be offered? This from only two friends, two individuals. Think of the hundred thousand lives that will have been so badly torn and damaged, and add a potent quantity of grief.
This is the world. America is not the world. It is merely a fortunate place.
We should be in mourning for the losses of others, but I doubt many of us will do that. It's far away, and we are safe...we think. We will turn to a TV station that amuses us, and we will still hate blacks, and gays, and whoever else has the nerve to disagree with our politics or religious views. Not one iota of open heartedness will result from watching a genuine tragedy of unthinkable immensity as it continues to unfold, hour by hour, day by day.
We will fight insane wars for the purpose of financial gain, we will call strangers enemies, and we will kill them. We will keep on keeping on.
Meanwhile, nature settles into a quiet phase, and builds up it's rage for the next time. Is it trying to teach us something? Ask yourself that question. I do.