Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The Things We Don't Worry AboutIf you took a plane east, from New York across the Atlantic, and kept going further, through Europe, at what point would you recognize the division between East and West? A few weeks ago, I would have thought that Russia was a part of the West, but today I am having second thoughts. The signing of a missile defense agreement between Poland and the US may have drawn a new line in the map of the new world order. If America has been putting all of our military resources into a losing battle in Iraq, and another waste of military resources in Afghanistan, are we on the brink of opening a third front in Eastern Europe?
Because if that's what we're doing, I gotta tell ya, I think we're in over our heads.
I worry about everything. I worry that my partner A. might get into a car accident on her way to work, I worry that the mosquito that bit me on my left butt cheek might be passing malaria, or the West Nile Virus into my bloodstream. I worry that my mother will show up unexpectedly in DC, and I will answer the door in my purple boxer shorts and my "Addicted to Gurls with Big Boobs" T-shirt. I worry that while riding my bicycle to work, I will get run over by a big-assed yellow Humvee and become disabled for the rest of my natural life. I worry about cancer, I worry about lead in my drinking water, I worry that I may become one of those crazy old ladies who forget to shower regularly and have dishes piling up in the sink. Shit, I already have dishes piling up in my sink, how far away can I be from bad hygiene? I worry about Pakistan, I worry about Israel and Iran, I worry Saudi Arabia.
I never worried about Russia. I never saw this coming.
And now at this very moment, I worry that the world is lining up, East against West. Russia on one side, most likely standing with Syria, and if Syria is on the side of Russia, then Iran will also choose to be on the same team. Maybe the next World war will begin in a place that I have trouble even locating on the globe, Georgia. World War I began with "The Shot Heard Round the World" the assassination of some Duke, in Hungary, a place that as hard as you might try, you can't find on the map. World War I claimed some 40 million casualties, half military deaths, and the other 20 million casualties, civilian. A century later, the weaponry has become much more sophisticated, we are facing nations that have the potential to send a nuclear missile to my zip code, with the push of a button, or to send it into Arizona from one of those porous points over the border, while we are trying to stop illegal immigrants, or seize a huge shipment of drugs, we might miss the glow from the truck with the nuclear package that looks like a Sears washer.
I worry about stuff all the time.
Maybe it is the stuff I never even think of that I should be worrying about.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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