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FROM MY CORNER, Death in the Afternoon

Howell Hurst Humans

The differing opinions battering back and forth between governors, mayors, and Mr. Trump about The Virus are somewhat like the clanking whacks of broadswords in a medieval battle.

Almost hidden behind the nationalist Trumpian rhetoric of our executive utterances, the thoughts of the scientists are only marginally able to be heard. The Virus has become a loudspeaker from which America’s and other nations’ leaders show their real political tendencies.

Atlantic magazine notes that Britain’s prime minister has caught the virus; Hungary has awarded its prime minister the right to rule by decree – indefinitely; China claims itself a pandemic world leader; and the president of Brazil says the virus is just “a little flu.”

In general, it is a miscarriage of governmental responsibility of the finest possible mis-proportions. It would be comic opera of the highest order if it did not literally endanger all of us.

Although this Virus is said unlikely to be able to annihilate the human race, it may,  however, prove itself the most pregnant evidence of our human Achille’s heal: our inability to recognize that our most persistent adversary in life is Nature.

The natural Universe is clearly powerful. We humans contain only tiny intellectual tidbits of what it takes to effectively defend our human lives for the infinite future we like to envision we control.

I doubt we commonly think that we probably possess the intellectual inefficiency to ineptly produce a uniquely creative design of our own potential extinction. And that that might well happen in a fashion surprisingly similar to our present situation.

The Universe and Nature play for keeps. They play long-term. All of us, on the other hand, play here short-term on a small planet. And we are subject to the consequences of the actions of a few people on the planet who, through some past political or military occurrence, find they are considered to be our leaders.

Presently, we need scientific solutions. But many heads of countries, money-addicted politicians, and high financial figures controlling Science’s financing are guided by personal motivations, rather than our real needs.

When one of these public servants gains the higher atmosphere of earthly success as a senator or congressperson, the air gets thin.  Politicians earn a lot of money on top of the salaries we pay for with our taxes.

Meanwhile, I’ve been reading Rachel Maddow’s “Blowout,” how our petroleum industry has been collaborating with several dictatorial countries including Russia to obtain their oil.  A troubling read, especially for my home state. If you are an Oklahoma Sooner, you should get a copy and wade through it.

Otherwise, I’ve also been reading for the fourth time Earnest Hemingway’s “Death in the Afternoon” which covers much more than bull fighting in Spain.

It is one of the most intriguing books of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, covering in bloody good prose much more than the question of what constitutes truth – the scarcest commodity in our present state of natural affairs.

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