Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Thoughts on Mount Vesuvius
August 24, 2009 marked 1930 years since the eruption that wiped out the thriving metropolis of Pompeii. The morning topics of conversation still included the last hunt at the coliseum where men fought for their lives amid a throng of trees planted in the middle of the coliseum to simulate a forest, and wild tigers, a lion, an elephant and alligator, and even a python were released to attack them. It is hard to imagine spectators cheering, as a man was torn to shreds in front of them by an enraged tiger. That image alone robs me of much sympathy for the thousands who lost their lives that day. Nor was it the first time that such a fiery end was brought to development in the area, since around 1660 B.C. the Avellino eruption wiped out the Bronze Age settlements that were there. Today approximately 3 million people live around the area, and many will also die a fiery death.
Men often suffer fates of their own judgment.
The lives of many of those in Pompeii, were much as ours, and despite our current technologies, they lead very fine lives and had beautiful houses with courtyards and fountains, lead pipe plumbing, and many lovely frescoes painted on their walls depicting Greek mythology. It was a good life for the lucky ones.
Most American houses are simplistic by comparison, and the average American is probably harder-working, has far less free time, and is more worried about future finances than politics. And yet, that can change very quickly in times of crisis, and even now a ground swell of fear and dissatisfaction seems to be growing among the populace. A new political activism is rearing its head.
If a few million Americans turn off their TV's; if they stop believing and watching network news; if they demand satisfaction from their legislators, and indeed become legislators themselves, replacing the stagnant political elite that now fill the seats of government, there's no telling where the next decade might lead us.
If they wake up and see that they have leaders who have no respect for the law, the constitution, or the rights of man, and that they have been hoodwinked time and again and they become sick of it, then who can guess where a new American revolution of political activism might take us?
Like an erupting Mount Vesuvius, they could blast the parasites that infest every level of government into a hastened oblivion of anonymity. Otherwise, if this nation continues as it has, supporting law-breaking leaders, even to the point of electing an ideologue who supports violating the sovereignty and laws of a small nation like Honduras; a man who has appointed a host of sycophant czars to do his bidding, some of whom are avowed communists; then America will fade away and become another nothing over time, just like so many civilizations before it. It's history in the world will be a relatively brief one, as compared to many others that predate it by thousands of years.
What a crime it would be, to let the dream and promise of America be stolen away by the complacency of the uninformed.
Or perhaps, to be more generous, Americans have just been too trusting for too many years. They believe the lies and promises that the slick-Willies of politics spin for them.
They hope too much, and they act too little.