The Elements Rage

We’re back in Gotham, delayed for a day by the immense storm that has battered the Eastern Seaboard. We sat out the tempest in Wellfleet, Massachussetts, which is situated on a narrow spit of land twenty-five miles out to sea, and which took quite a pounding, as you might imagine.

But while the wind and waves were punishing Cape Cod, the real damage was done inland, far from the Cape’s sandy and porous soil. Many low-lying areas, including much of Somerset County, New Jersey, where I grew up, suffered catastrophic flooding, and an awful lot of people have had their homes and worldly goods ruined.

Meanwhile, various parties have written to comment on the possible link between bee-colony collapse and cell phones. Everyone seems to be of the opinion that cell phones are a blight, a scourge, a pox and an affliction. I do agree that they have had a corrosive effect on public life; for example, few things are as irritating as being a captive audience, in a public conveyance, to one side of a conversation about what prospects the contents of a total stranger’s larder offer for her evening meal. But my cell-phone rings only rarely, and I am careful to seek a private spot when I wish to make a call, so the impact of my cell-phone on my own life, and of those around me, is actually quite small, and I must say there have been many times when it has been very helpful indeed.

But if they are killing off the bees, then what are we to do? It is awfully hard to imagine the world giving up its cellular phones; as someone on The Sopranos once said, “you can’t put the shit back in the donkey.” Perhaps we can breed bees that can tolerate the radio interference that is alleged to be the cause of the problem. There is also, however, still some uncertainty about a possible link between cell-phones and cancer; they may yet turn out to be the radium watches of the 21st century.

Finally, it would be callous not to comment on the sickening tragedy that has taken place in Virginia today, although it is difficult to find appropriate words; no words could possibly encompass the enormity of this awful crime. I have two children in college myself, and I grieve with the families of these victims — both for the pointless, inexpressible agony this inhuman act has inflicted upon them, and for a world that could produce such horror.

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2 Comments

  1. Eugene says

    I wish my professor will use “you can’t put the shit back in the donkey” as the best interpretation for the second law of thermodynamics.

    Posted April 18, 2007 at 12:48 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    It certainly sums it up.

    Posted April 18, 2007 at 12:59 pm | Permalink