Monday, August 29, 2005

Katrina: The Call of the Wild, Pt. II

I'm watching Hurricane Katrina casually rip pieces off the roof of the Superdome in New Orleans, Bush. What a storm! And what a great time the media are having, following it. How they do love a disaster. Well, correction, there: how we do love a disaster. Don't we? All of us. It's hard-wired, as they say. There's some nasty part of me, Bush, that finds me rooting against mankind and for Mother Nature in these circumstances. I want to see her sock it to us. I want to be shocked and awed. I want us to be humbled, in our overweening pride. I want us to be reminded of how puny we all are, and how we can be knocked sideways by a casual swipe of Mother Nature's paw.

It's a strange part of our species, that we have this compulsion to see the very worst that can happen. It's maybe related to our voyeur instinct--that we love to see things happen to others that we'd hate to happen to ourselves. An event like this gives us a proxy taste of the extreme--the dark abyss that attracts us horribly, but for most of us not enough to actually jump in. The call of the wild. I guess there are some brave, or perhaps simply foolhardy souls (I think again of Timothy Treadwell--see yesterday'e entry if your missed it, Bush) who actually follow through and take the trip into those places. There are the surfers who go out to ride the waves at the height of the hurricane. Some of them even return to tell the tale. For most of us, though, we get our kicks by watching it on TV.

That's it for today, Bush. Need to get back to Katrina. Hope you're faring better, weather-wise, down there in Texas.

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