Friday, November 2, 2018

all in all, this morning

Ralph Steadman art
Even as U.S. President Donald Trump stirs up an unconstitutional stew (“This is an invasion,” he said) as regards the migrant caravan making its way through Central America en route to the Texas border, so I find myself swept up in the diminution of the flying squid catch in Japan.

It's not that I balance one human tragedy against another, but has something to do with individual suffering and statistics. Generations of comprehensible Japanese families are swept up in the loss of a living that derives from the sea. Human beings. The caravan, at 7,000 or 2,500 or whatever the guesstimated number is today, is made up of individuals but the mass seems to oil the way towards a statistical sweep of the generalizing hand.

I wonder if those who don't see human adventures as being composed of human beings find it easier to bring a political twist to the discussion. Or, as Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was alleged to have said, "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic." 

Trump is constitutionally incapable of imaging other, individualized human beings. The caravan is a "national threat," a statistic against which he will deploy -- either by optics or reality -- the National Guard.

The loss of flying squid and those it affects is ... well, affecting, in ways I can get my mind around.

Oh well, this is leaving me confused about what I am trying to say. I did read the flying squid story. I didn't read all of the several caravan stories on display today.

Lazy as charged, I suppose.

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