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30 August 2005

Eye of the Storm

This is a song about the end of the world. It's a happy little number. - Larry Norman

I'm sure it will be only a matter of time before Jerry "Blow them away in the name of the Lord" Falwell or Pat "Who would Jesus assassinate?" Robertson or some other high-profile but ignorant Christian blames the destruction of New Orleans on Mardi Gras or gays or abortion or the United States' backslidden pagan ways. I'm sure the rapture index is on orange alert and that Gabriel's mouth is on the trumpet. I'm sure Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins can squeeze a dozen poorly written novels out of this. In the meantime, we know people who live less than an hour from the shoreline. I hope they're OK.

And with that, I leave you with Rigorous Intuition's take on the damage:

Here we are, in another moment, where dystopic hyperbole has leached into wire stories with headlines such as "Experts Expect Katrina to Turn New Orleans Into Atlantis." I'm expecting the storm to weaken enough that the worst-case will not be realized. I'm hoping so for the poorest of New Orleans, who "chose" not to leave because they couldn't, and have been sitting up all night in the Superdome. But Katrina is already the 11th hurricane this season; that's eight more than have ever before been recorded at this time of year. The storms are increasing in frequency and ferocity, and will continue to do so as the Gulf Stream fails. All that heat has to go somewhere.

Climate Change is a challenge to our frames of reference. We've known storms before, but storms like these, this often? We've known extreme temperatures, but we've never seen the glaciers retreat and the pack ice melt at such a pace and scale. The old assurances of how bad it can get have been breached, and projected extremes are edging out of the narrow band of conditions conducive to global civilization and perhaps even complex life. And it's not the environment alone that goes begging for precedents. (And I don't think it's a coincidence that it's not.) Politically, economically, metaphysically even, we're all suddenly in over our heads without having moved an inch. And perhaps we should have moved, because the flood was forecast years ago. But like the people in the Superdome, we had nowhere else to go.

Comments on "Eye of the Storm"


Blogger Dan Trabue said ... (8/30/2005 09:35:00 AM) : 

This is a song about the end of the world...gotta love Norman.

I'm almost looking forward to the end of the world as gas prices increase to the point where we can no longer drive like we do. Then what? How will our stuff get places? How will we?

Collapse. Oh. We didn't plan that well, did we?


Anonymous Stephanie said ... (8/30/2005 11:31:00 PM) : 

who is larry norman? educate me please.
man i've been reading Wallis and my shoulders hurt.
so i've decided that one should never read cuz its torture and then you have to change your life. suck.


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (8/31/2005 06:07:00 PM) : 

I'll educate you very soon. Promise.


Blogger Dan Trabue said ... (9/01/2005 03:20:00 PM) : 

Larry Norman. The Grandfather of Christian Rock Music.

While contemporary christian music is largely a wasteland of earnest vapidity (and I say that as one who spent ten years in such a band, writing sincere but vapid music myself), Larry Norman is among the few who wrote songs from a Christian perspective with meaningful lyrics, taking on hunger, hypocrisy, the KKK, the Viet Nam war and moon rocks with style, humor and grace.

(I should write liner notes...)

"The beatles said all you need is love, and then they broke up..."

"Some say he was an outlaw, who'd roam across the land,
With a band of unschool ruffians and a few old fishermen.
No one knew just where he came from or exactly what he'd done,
But they said it must be something bad that kept him on the run..."

"I was born and raised an orphan in a land that once was free
in a land that poured its love out on the moon
and I grew up in the shadows of your silos filled with grain
but you never helped to fill my empty spoon..."


Blogger Dan Trabue said ... (9/01/2005 03:33:00 PM) : 

"Mama killed a chicken, thought it was a duck
Put him on the table with his feet sticking up
Papa broke his glasses when he fell down drunk
Tried to drown the kitty cat, turned out to be a skunk

You gotta watch what you're doing, didn't you know
You gotta watch what you're doing..."


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