The World Beyond My Eyeballs

9/1/2005

The directory that holds draft Musings is fuller than usual this day. It’s not that the material isn’t any good (assuming there’s a distinction between what’s scrapped and what makes it to these pages).

It’s just that none of it seems worth mentioning, given events in the world around us. And given those events, the Muse’s disciples would be better served by spending the moment it takes to read my latest tirade reflecting on the sorrow and tumult that reside in the physical realm outside this broadband-driven fantasy world.

The furious femme fatale Katrina, who delivered a vicious sucker punch to our Gulf Coast, exposed the soft underbelly of our arrogance in ways the Muse’s prose could never achieve.

This morning we learned that thousands may lie dead in the fetid streets of New Orleans as the tens of thousands of forsook living began to riot and a stunned and impotent nation looked on. It’s a stark and hideous reminder that the one true superpower on this planet is Mother Nature.

We’ve got the technology to drop a fucking bomb on a postage stamp but we cannot get food and water to babies starving outside a football stadium surrounded by interstate highways.

The line in America that separates our designer label-festooned society from sheer chaos is not so bright. It’s the same line that was crossed yesterday in Baghdad when the rumor of a suicide bomber drove a crowd of Shiites marching to worship into a frenzy, causing them to trample a thousand of their own to death. That such a tragedy was relegated to page two by events closer to home is sufficient commentary on these troubled times.

As I watch the unwatchable scenes unfolding in New Orleans my mind wanders back to a previously life in which the Muse traveled often to the Crescent City for business—frequently to attend trade shows in the very Superdome that is today a refugee city housing the living, dead and those at some indeterminate place in between.

I remember the large numbers of teenaged runaways that had found a home in that curious city and how I let them scam me for a buck when I knew full well they were out to scam me for a buck, but their company and entertainment was worth it. Who knows what horrors they’d run from and who knows what horrors they faced in their tribal-like existence on the streets. But it was hard not to appreciate their survival skills and be amused at their antics. Barely more than children, I was angry at society for allowing it to come to that.

It’s probably a safe assumption that most of the members of those little teenaged tribes are dead today. Abused and cast out by society and killed by nature. I won’t hold my breath waiting for a chest-thumping country “America love-it-or-leave-it” song about that.

I’m just too fucking mad and too fucking sad to Muse today. And it doesn’t matter anyway because the world beyond my eyeballs is obscured by the tears.

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