“Did you say the stars were worlds, Tess?”
“All like ours?”
“I don’t know, but I think so. They sometimes seem to be like the apples on our stubbard-tree. Most of them splendid and sound – a few blighted.”
“Which do we live on – a splendid one or a blighted one?”
“A blighted one.”
― Thomas Hardy
Am I just in a bad mood, or has it been kind of an awful year so far?
Working loosely backwards, there’s Ebola, which while it hasn’t killed anywhere near as many people as more prosaic diseases like malaria and the flu, is wreaking serious havoc in West Africa, and is nowhere near containment or control.
There are the two Malaysian Airlines disasters. One plane just disappears, leaving loved ones in limbo for months as hope slowly disintegrates. The second, in an event that would seem simply bizarre if it were not so horrific, is accidentally shot down over the Ukrainian conflict zone. It’s the epitome of “senseless” violence.
And Crimea and the Ukraine conflict in the first place–déjà vu anyone? I thought we didn’t do this stuff anymore, especially on that continent.
Not that there isn’t plenty happening on other continents to go around. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has once again devolved into full-scale war, leaving hundreds dead and thousands injured, and what can only be described as the opposite of progress on any type of diplomatic or negotiating front.
And just when I thought the situation in Syria could not possibly get worse, ISIS declared an Islamic state over large swathes of Syria and Iraq, where it currently presides over a chaotic melee of sectarian strife, in the absence of any sort of functional government.
Even on the U.S. border, we are grappling somewhat less than gracefully with a flood of unaccompanied children fleeing drug violence in Central America. Some of these kids are not much older than mine. How bad do do things have to be for you to let your children leave you for a deadly dangerous 1000 mile journey with an uncertain ending?
All in all, it’s enough to send me off to read some Thomas Hardy. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and the world will seem splendid again.