Thursday, September 01, 2005


Regular gas shot up to $3.25 a gallon for regular. I drove by and saw the listing and almost swerved into a tree.

I felt a sense of real alarm; a kind of doom. I don't know why gas prices should feel to me like such a symbol for what's wrong with this country. But I thought, "My country has gone to hell. My God. There it is." This is not reasonable. It is visceral. If you want reasonable, read Fausto's very brainy and helpful economist's response to why it won't do any good to boycott Mobil and Exxon in the comments section of my previous post on the issue.

Fausto smart. PeaceBang scared.

I have been reading the prophets lately and feeling very, very frightened. If they're right (and I believe in their righteousness -- I'm thinking particularly of Amos right now), America the Beautiful has a lot of wrath of God coming due. Call it what you will: karma, cause-and-effect, wrath of God. It's coming, if it isn't already upon us.

I wonder: do George Bush and his ilk ever read the entire writings of the prophets or do they just content themselves with the sections that speak of the evil-doers OUT there? Why do they conveniently ignore the fact that the prophets have much more fire and brimstone and condemnation to heap upon the evil-doers within the supposedly righteous community?

In case you're wondering, I'm not equating Katrina with the wrath of God. But the images from down South don't contribute to my sense of "God's in heaven, all's right with the world." The looting, the monstrous death toll, the fact that global warming contributes to all of these scenarios (right?).

To spin this crazy emotional posting into a rational place, anyone want to comment on that latter hypothesis, or steer us to a link that will prove me right or wrong?

P.S. I don't really believe that God's in his/her heaven and all's right with the world at the best of times. That's not my theology. Whatever God is, It's not limited to Heaven (whatever that is -- I'm fuzzy on it; MUCH clearer on the geographical tradition of Hell). And I'm too much of a melancholic existentialist type to ever think of this vale of soul-making as being "all right."
But you knew what I was saying anyway, didn't you?


Blogger fausto said...

Honestly, PB, you're starting to sound like the premillenialists. Are you feeling okay?

You want links? If you click here, you will easily see how this is not the start of Armageddon, but merely God's revenge on New Orleans for Southern Decadence celebrations and Girls Gone Wild videos.

Seriously, as shocking as the conditions in Nawlins are right now, and as much as we may feel startled out of our complacency, the world has survived far worse without kicking off the End Times.

I do feel, though, that this crisis is not purely an unfortunate accident, but that in some way we unfortunate citizens are reaping what George Bush has sowed: whether in international policy, energy policy, environmental policy, domestic social policy, or investments in infrastructure, there were countless opportunities to defend against or at least mitigate such a disaster, opportunities that Bush and his cabal have consistently spurned.

Where did the Army Corps' money for upgrading New Orleans' flood dykes go? Iraq. Why are we having more frequent and intense hurricanes? Global warming. What causes global warming? Burning fossil fuels. How do we discourage burning fossil fuels? Discourage consumption through high sales taxes; encourage substitution by subsidizing research into alternate energy sources. How many of those indigent dark-complexioned people wallowing and dying in wet misery without food, water or sanitation pulled the GOP lever in the last election? Not many; the GOP voters are all high and dry and safe in some neighboring red state in their gas-guzzling SUV's tonight. They never gave much thought to "those people" when they had the chance; but now the whole country is obsessed with them.

I'm expecting to see blowback. It's already starting. It feels to me as though the discomforts the press has had to endure in covering this disaster have shaken them out of their torpor, and they're not going to let the appallingly cynical and self-serving White House spin go unchallenged any longer. Take back the House in '06!

No, this wasn't the wrath of God against those poor hapless souls in the Big Easy: "Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?" [Luke 13:4]

But the proud, arrogant, haughty rulers who won't heed the Prophets? "They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind." [Hosea 8:7]

Blogger PeaceBang said...

In your paragraph starting, "I do feel, though, that this crisis..." you explain in rational terms what fairly overwhelmed me today, and that I could not articulate. Thanks for providing the sane version of what I wanted to say.

It just occurred to me that I was baptized in New Orleans.


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