the politics of shopping

To the Ends of the Sea

Resharing a post I wrote two years about "degrees of separation" to the big event we remember today.

Because of the hurricanes. They are affecting very many people, but me, I'm in the tertiary class. Gas went up for a few days last week. MSNBC is broadcasting weather non-stop and I watch while making dinner. People are retweeting videos and I look at them sometimes. That's about it. I have some friends who are getting rained on a whole lot and whose incomes will be affected by the interruptions. That's the secondary group. And then there are people whose worlds are filled with water and will soon be left covered in mud, some of it salvagable, much of it ruined.

I was filling the car with fuel the other day thinking I could just do that, you know, anywhere I liked. Any time of the day I liked. And that is something a whole lot of people could not take for granted last week and the week before.

While Houston was being covered over in water, there was a great flood in Bangladesh and also Nepal, harming many people, displacing a tremendous number. Some people complained we didn't care about that. Well, we do. We simply cannot care about each event to the same degree at the same time. So we cared about what was going on here a little more than what was going on there. We aren't terrible, just human. No matter how connected we all are via contemporary transportation and communication means, we're still all mostly part of a small group here on the ground where we stand and make our livings.

Sometimes, though, we want very much to be connected to the larger event, and strive to find ways of feeling a part of what's going on. Our everyday lives, for most of us, are not interesting or all that challenging. And we know instinctively that challenges cause us to grow, create, and assess what's really important about life. We avoid the seemingly mundane ones, but are curious about the big events that would test us. Also, we want to feel things. We want to feel strong passions and important sensations, and so we talk of a person we know who is right in the thick of things, as though it puts us closer to the center of the picture, right there meeting the challenge alongside a compatriot.

At the end of the day, though, when it's time for rest and relaxation, mostly it feels pretty good to not have to be tested as others are forced to be just now. Knowing that, I think we ought to appreciate it a whole lot, and also offer assistance in whichever way we can and however it will be best received.

Anyway, here. It has pictures. We Traced the Skyline

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