Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Photo: Pinguino
Usually our own problems about love and work overshadow any concerns about society. You don’t vote on an empty stomach is a paradox of modern democracy. You forage for food. Similarly, after being fired from a job or a relationship, the first consideration is survival. However there are times when what happens in the political sphere becomes personal. Naturally 9/11 was one of those times. The creeping specter of environmental disaster (with a subset of anxieties surrounding rogue states like Iran and North Korea possessing nuclear weapons) is another. The question sometimes seems to be which will come first the disaster or the Stephen King thriller. King did write The Stand, which dealt with a deadly flu virus and then there was Under the Dome which dealt surrealistically with environmental issues. But it seems strange that he has not yet dealt with global warming, one of the largest threat to our planet, more explicitly. Certainly what Katrina did to New Orleans reads like one of those Stephen King novels where society is presented archeologically, with all the strata from top to bottom being affected by an evil force whether it’s disease or a rabid dog (Cujo). Take for instance the headline, top left column of yesterday’s Times, “New York Is Lagging as Seas And Risks Rise, Critics Warn.” You can just see the paper being thrown down in the kitchen of the elegant Park Avenue apartment of some Manhattan power broker. He’s got other things on his mind, amongst them the addictive sex he’s been having with a nymphette, some disturbing photos he’s discovered on his teenaged daughter’s iPhone, the dwindling value of his stock portfolio and yes there’s a storm on the horizon, which he discountenances, but which like last year’s Irene, will eventually threaten a part of his downtown turf. What about a title for this prospective Stephen King thriller? How about  Denial?

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