Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hell of an Air Crash

“It’s horrible. Everything is burnt,” a rescue worker said. “It is the closest thing to Hell that I have ever seen. The bodies were boiling. They burnt our hands when we touched them.”

Dante's Inferno being updated to the 21st Century experience of the Global Human Economic Machine. A metal machine aeroplane failed, and the horror affects the local people around it, but not the whole machine of humanity.

Stuck in England in the cloudiest and wettest summer in my memory, with no consolation but the moral ecological position of having for so long avoided all wasteful or indulgent air travel, even I cannot help but be touched by the horror of "boiling bodies". For the local people there is horror, but it was like a paint scratch on the Global Human Economic Machine, and I would be amazed if anybody cancelled their holiday or business flights because of this.

I am so bored. Grey clouds parted for 10 minutes of sunshine this morning, and the heat of the sunshine on my skin was as strange as a Martian invasion. There is no local news, for news has long gone global. Why should the news of an air crash serve to console me? Things could be worse, true. Such is damage limitation. Yet the temptation to dream is the knowledge that things could be so much better. To be for so long a part of the GHEM, always dreaming of the wilderness and freedom, and then to be part of nothing, always fearing things could be worse: this isn't really a sign of cleverness, is it? Living in reality isn't by itself more clever than living in fantasy. So cleverness must have nothing to do with living in either fantasy or reality.

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