Thursday, May 18, 2006

They keep falling, but we have more important things to think about these days

A busy nation has much on its mind. Will and Grace hang it up after seven years, and Marissa checks out of the OC, taking her doomed charisma with her. Angela Jolie is due any minute. Paul is getting divorced, probably because the headlines would be just too damn embarrassing after he turns 64. Kenny Lay goes on trial for another set of charges as the jury in his first trial deliberates. The FBI digs up a farm, looking for Jimmy Hoffa. General Hayden tells Senators that he, personally, thought the NSA data mining scheme was a stretch but that the White House reassured him it was legal. Oh, and by the way --
Four U.S. soldiers and their Iraq interpreter died when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb northwest of Baghdad, the U.S. command said. It had earlier said a U.S. sailor died Wednesday in Anbar province.

The five deaths raised to at least 2,455 the number of members of the U.S. military who have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
Did we look up when they fell? Of course not. As Auden reminded us, people have been going on about their business and looking away for a long time.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
We all have places to go, things to do, and we commute on by. More or less calmly.

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