Monday, February 18, 2008

The Sky is Falling

In "the Things They Carried," Tim O'Brien's book (surrealist) about a platoon of soldiers in the Vietnam War, he describes a scene of such shocking and horrible brutality, where the soldiers in venting their frustration and boredom, slowly kill a water buffalo calf by torturing it to death. At a later point in the story, the author recounts being confronted by an indignant woman at a book signing (if I remember this correctly,) who takes him to task for his cruelty. "Madam," he says, "it was only a story, fiction, I made it all up, it never really happened." (I'm paraphrasing here, as I don't quite remember the exact quote.
In a few days, the government will try to shoot down a falling spy satellite. The satellite is in a decaying orbit and there is some fear that it will fall on a populated area. The odds of this happening, of course, are pretty long, as 3/4ths of the possible landing zone is comprised of ocean, and, anyway, if it did fall on something, maybe it should fall on a military base somewhere. Theirs(?) ours, who cares, he who lives by the sword shall so perish.
Or, perhaps my metaphor is wrong- maybe it has more to do with Damocles. At any rate, the reason given for the attempt to shoot this thing down feels like a lie. (Something about they don't want anyone inhaling the fuel vapors.) I think the government lies to us because someone wants to see how preposterous their lies can get before most people call them on it. Oh, wait a minute, we are the government,.....I think I'm beginning to see the problem. At any rate, I'm hoping for a hell of a show, aren't you?

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