Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Apocalypse upon demand

The Wall St. Journal is freaking out about avian flu. It reports that scientists have recreated the bug of 1918-19, which killed some 50 million people. The studies in Science and Nature indicate that bug "was most likely caused by an avian virus."

It's not news that there could be a flu pandemic. The threat's been voiced by medical types for a while. The alleged news is that the US is not prepared.

"Avian flu could be the Katrina of medicine," warned John Bartlett, chief of the infectious-diseases division of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The Journal's special section contains some 20 stories and reports on avian flu. The Times Nonselect ("This is huge, huge, huge,") is on it here.

Some are seeing this as the Bush Admin's new effort to panic the population. After all, it's easier to broker use of the military when the populace is in turmoil.

Might we just suggest that the Bush Administration's tendency to instill fear is curiously incompatible with its demonstrated capacity for leisure time? This is the guy who is on course to have spent over one year at his ease by the end of this calendar year.

But as some gently keep reminding us, nothing is simple, or simply about Mr. Bush. It is publicly noted that there is a failing US infrastructure, a senseless war in the toilet, an emergency agency without a clue, and a backwardness in preparing for flu that compares unfavorably with other nations.

Yet Mr. Bush takes his ease. Logic suggests either that an entire solar system of certifiable goofballs -- who owe Messrs Bush, Rove, Cheney et al their jobs -- acquiesce in a mode of administration that has no excuse, or,
  1. These people honestly believe that they (and their Lord) can counterspin any and all reality-based crises -- or,
  2. Crises are needed - the more the merrier - to further the purposes and ends of those so blithely underprepare for them -- or,
  3. We have the fortune to be governed by a cargo clack of lunatics.
Crisis is the fuel of apocalypse, derangement. Nothing could be farther from mental coherence than an elected leader who spends more time vacating than he does doing anything else. But suppose there were a referendum, and USians favored having Mr. Bush and associates referred to psychiatric experts for a few little tests, and the tests proved what we've all been quietly thinking.

The follow-up question still would be: Whose purposes and ends are being served?


Blogger Deleted said...

A cull? None of the elite seriously believe global warming is a hoax, or that environmental degradation isn't a problem. They're all Malthusians by nature and they read eugenics pamphlets hidden in Bibles. Malign neglect with a few careful shoves now and then is an effective way to get rid of surplus bods. The reserve army of the poor doesn't need to be all that large.

Madeline Albright's sangfroid in the face of enforced famine is the rule among them.

10/05/2005 10:58 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Hard to tell whether a cull would be the point, or an unlamented side effect, no? Too bad Albrightian gumption does not apply to Bushites who owe their insider positions solely to unthinking loyalty. It seems the folks with institutional memory will simply have bite the bullet instead.

10/06/2005 7:02 AM  
Blogger Juke said...

Here's one of those crepuscularian beat unclassifiables on a quick riff as to what a real and genuine Commander-in-Chief might have said and done re. NOLA/Katrina:
I was getting a ride with a hippie carpenter one time down a dirt road in Last Chance, California, and we were riffing on the auto-path leading to oil/gas limitations and he voiced a stance I realized was very common, if unvocalized generally, because it was common-sense-based though limited and ignoble in its competent selfishness.
It was essentially that he lived far from work and shopping, up in the mtns., and needed the truck and the fuel it ate to be who he was, and there were so many assholes out there who were essentially wasting the air they breathed and everything else they consumed. Their nothing lives so inessential.
The logic being, eliminate the assholes - more fuel, air, water, land, etc!
This is one of those undergroundy things like vestigial racism and other festering spiritual malocclusions, that you have to get to by extrapolation and field experience.
Well it isn't hard to imagine the real elites refining that attitude, and having the means at their ready and whim.
Soylent green!
Real concern would have saturated the airwaves by now with real accessible simple instructions for home care of the influenza victims - when to contact medical help, temperatures of danger, fluids, diet, medications, things to stock up on - enough specific instruction to give the homemakers and especially the kids, the teenagers who are soaking up this weird info and freaking in immobility with no one to trust, some sense of competence when and if it hits them and their families.
Unless that is they've got a kindly uncle or father who's well-connected to the preterite-making machinery.
Call it attempted apotheosis of the shifted common denominator.
What Harry says about the reserve of the poor - they don't need this vast reservoir of human oxen and hens.
Culling to the profile, starting at the agreed-upon bottom of man, certainly there are those who dream that actively now. How close they are to the mechanics of implementation - who knows?
Benign masters, loving their slaves, who aren't really slaves.
Like white mice in the labs, they have no other options. It's what they are now, entirely. Dependent, protected by the cage. The connection to the real world severed.
Most of the upper rungs are just dancing as fast as they can, as it were, yes.
But there is a kind of plan here and there, or a hope of one, an effort made toward one. It helps to remember that termites can be said to nurture their young, sharks ditto, the implacable virus, the assertive bacteria has no intention we can call evil. Conspiracy or happenstance, there it is.
So, ring them bells!
Rattle those empty tin bowls.
Enjoy the treeline shadows against the unsettled sky.
Life is no more temporary than it always was.
And if they do gain immortality through their heinous disruptions of the delicate blossom and swirl of what is - they'll always be what they are now, incomplete, desperate, selfish; temporarily smug and then panicked, lunging toward correction, over-steering, the universe reflecting what they bring everywhere with them - the thing they try so frantically to escape. Themselves.

10/07/2005 5:35 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Juke, thanks - much there to mull.


Real concern would have saturated the airwaves by now with real accessible simple instructions

is common sense. It has stared at us forever. It has remained remote despite the disseminative advances of print, radio, tv, internet. Major media could put this sort of info on their websites, without moneywalls, as a no-brainer public service. Why does this never seem to happen? What causes us to get stuck on the road to some sort of obvious public preparation to perceived emergency. How come the Cubans escape death by hurricane, if the reports can be trusted, but all Washington DC can say is we need to "investigate" agencies of government?

We seem always split into two extremes: there's the Central Bureaucracy that cannot find its head within its arse, let alone unensconce it. And there's the somewhat decentralized, marginal world of web sites and well meaning individuals of common sense. And there seems to be nothing linking them. Issuing, unsurprisingly, in minimal result from huge effort. Waste becomes the product, rather than the by-product. We waste ourselves in producing and consuming waste.

If news media told the truth, they'd have made certain things clear long ago. A recent "big" story in a FL paper was about how important it is to understand the difference between flood insurance and homeowners insurance. This is a piece of knowledge that could have been disclosed long ago, and ought to be standard equipment for the public. But then the paper would have to find some other thing to pretend is news, under the ruse of loyally serving its readership.

The only way the news commodity can exist is by repressing what it is we all most need to know, which is usually stuff that is not new.

If Katrina/Rita/BushonTerra show anything, I think they show that no amount of demand deriving from actual need can displace the enjoyment of our anxiety. Anxiety is the affective by-product of trashed action.

I want to come back to other elements in your comment.

10/09/2005 10:43 AM  

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