Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Forces of Nature

With a Katrina-sized hurricane bearing down on Texas amid whirlwind parsing of Sarah Palin's interview by Charlie Gibson, this looks like a weekend of hunkering down and hoping--a time for looking inward and wishing for the best.

As rational creatures, we want an explanation for everything so we can figure out how to cope. But especially on the day after 9/11, we know that some events are unforeseeable and leave us feeling helpless.

Weather forecasters predict "certain death" for those who stay in the Galveston area, and Peggy Noonan tells Obama supporters about Palin, "You can never kill her now. Forget it. She can hurt herself, but in terms of Democratic attacks she is bulletproof."

The hurricane is an immediate threat to life and limb, so it may be insensitive and unfair to compare its force to the potential destructiveness of a political figure who may or may not devastate our national life in the future.

But both are reminders that, much as we think of ourselves as knowledgeable, competent and evolved human beings, there are things in life we can't control. We just have to wait them out until things get back to normal.

1 comment:

Stimpson said...

The irrational side of humanity prompts many people to explain events with supernatural explanations. 'It was God's will,' they say.
Mrs. Palin is an example of the most irrational strain of such idiotic thinking. One good reason for a U.S. voter to throw away any thought of casting a ballot for the GOP ticket, I say.