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The Bleak Part of the Battle Begins

South Fork, CO.  What's it like to be a refugee family trying to kill time in a high school gymnasium, while hiding from the forest fire? It was probably an adventure the first day. But after several days? And the authorities are careful not to give the refugees a specific date when they can return to their homes. 

Sometimes I wonder about the sluice-gate of federal (FEMA) dollars that starts flowing once a crisis reaches a certain threshold, and whether authorities and crony capitalists try to over-extend the crisis just to suck every last dollar out of the ol' cash cow. In that sense, a naive trust of authorities will just turn you into a captive/hostage. That -- and not reckless overconfidence or thrill-seeking -- is probably the real reason why some non-sheeplike people won't evacuate when the authorities order them to.

Seeing the kindly neighbor-woman drop in on me several times -- yesterday she wanted to know if I needed water -- brought several out-of-date and laughable ideas to my atavistic brain. I thought back to how we used to imagine disasters, in the old days, and especially in small towns. 

Do you think people would have just laughed if I had gone down to a refugee center and tried to volunteer for something? There are so many government employees that look almost militarized. They each have a $100,000+ rig to drive. They would probably look down on me as a nuisance; "no, Mister, we can't use you unless you have a Class 4x-Q7 Red Cross rating with a certificate signed more recently than 2.83 years ago."

They might also slap a wristband on me and not allow me to leave.  That would be everybody's dream: indefinite internment in a Nanny State POW camp.

The dreadful truth is that I don't care about this country and society. It isn't mine. Nor do I care how many bubble-financed McMansions burn down. But I do feel sorry about the animals. There are three horses in the pasture below me, and I wonder who is taking care of them.


Michael said…
Ah, but have you no mercy to spare for the two-legged herd animals, who, though they fancy themselves independent-minded and resourceful, are as conformist in their bones and helpless in their spirits as any equine, and who are burdened with imagination that magnifies all suffering--past, present, and future--imagination from which, as best we can tell, four legs are sufficiently fast to escape?
Michael, I have plenty of mercy for individual two-leggers. But taken collectively, as American society, I could not care less what happens to them.

Recall Mencken's witticism: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it -- good and hard."

American society is responsible for the half-insane, theology-based forest management that is causing the problem out in the forest right now.

edlfrey said…
Boonie, I'm flattered. You have resorted to using a quote to make your point. I was under the false impression that I had a lock on quote mining. Thanks for pointing the way to Mencken - a treasure trove of wonderful quotes, I don't know why I have avoided him in favor of Mark Twain.
No lock, Ed. But I still consider you the Quote-Meister.

I like Mencken and Twain, but the former rants more than I want, and the latter tries too hard to be a comedian.