Sunday, January 25, 2015

We have become a nation of talkers. We have all the answers to someone else’s problems.

We also have no difficulty leaping to conclusions and making judgments without waiting for the inconvenience of actual facts. In an age of 30 second news bites and instant polls, waiting for real analysis would require staying on a topic for more than a week.

We will watch anything that requires no thought: “Reality” TV, “Real” housewives, Car chases, Laser-guided bombs, Building demolitions. Basically, we like to watch people make idiots of themselves, or destroy themselves or others.

As a nation we spend billions to turn foreign cities to rubble, but let our own roads and bridges turn to rubble for free.

We still think oceans will protect us when we are really only milliseconds from every place on Earth.

We live in boxes within boxes, investing our lives in something as ethereal as the air that is getting harder to breath.

I wrote “Building Two” (Riding in Boxcars, 2006), about the building we are all living in. Can you feel it shudder?

Glenn K. Currie

                        Building Two

I stood at a window high
at the end of the city. Watching
a building burning. Smoke
drifted over gathering sirens
screaming below. People at my window,
talked with nothing to say.
Stared over coffee,
As they watched our twin self die.
The brightness was blinding.
Blue sky and sunshine on a cloudy day.
Someone’s TV broke the news on morning’s
shows. Strange. Compelling.
Live from New York.
Then our building shuddered.