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Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Am Still Alive

We still think in story narratives, with any luck, we always will. The narrative plays itself out where there would otherwise only be strategies. And strategies don't need narratives, and when they do, they're defective.

So it horrifies us when something rings through with an annihilating shock of some seemingly meaningless but catastrophic event. For instance. A boy is at the park with his father. His father reaches forward to snag a foul ball, but falls over the side of the rail. He later dies at the hospital.

In another story, perhaps even more horrific, an Iraq veteran survives three years worth of surgeries and rehabilitation only to fall to his death on a roller coaster I myself have ridden. The problem should have been obvious. An amputee who was missing his legs was allowed to ride a roller coast that only had a waist belt. The "Superman" is all a series of enormous drops, the most of enormous of which is the very first drop. This drop sets itself up after 30-40 seconds worth of slow rising up the chain - it should have been obvious. Nonetheless, the courage of his desire to survive and lead a full life (which was ironically being celebrated at Darien Lake) eventually led to a senseless death. On some level this is gut-wrenchingly painful to consider on the level of the narrative, and really just in general demoralizing. It's difficult for me to even describe what kind of demoralizing it is. It demoralizes more than emotionally, it demoralizes us spiritually, in a myriad of different ways.

The shock of stories like these is in the randomness, and how quickly it happened and was over. In the one case, a boy witnessing his father's death and in the other, a struggle that came to nothing.

They seem emblematic of the zeitgeist of this "armageddon" of debt America faces. Are these tragic figures dour omens for the dooms the American economy is likely to face in the near future?

Will the American Economy fall to its death while it was trying to have a good time?

I wanted to get this out for general discussion while I am still alive.

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