Drowned world

>> Friday, June 22, 2018

One of the things that frightens me, among all the many things that frighten me, is the thought of some ordinary, middle-class Berliner in 1938, 1939, some year in those ordinary extraordinary years; this Berliner, he picks up his newspaper, he glances over the headlines, he puts it down, he pecks at his breakfast and throws the rest of it in the sink or covers it up in the icebox for later, and he goes to work or for a walk.

Because there are days when it's all just too damned much.

And you go on because you have to, and you go on because you should.  But it's still too damned much.

And you wonder why you're reading your newsfeed and you're wondering why you're listening to current events podcasts, and you're wondering why you're gamely listening to the Republican Congressman from Outer Bongolia talking to NPR about the thing, or the other thing, or the other other thing.  It's too damned much.

And you wonder if it's happening here or if it already happened.  You think of all the ordinary Germans who weren't Hitler supporters and surely didn't think things were what they really were, and how those German papers we look back on today and laud for their brave and sacrificing journalists, for their courage and prescience, were actually the crazy fringe partisan press of their day.  You think about the way humans structure time and space into bright lines that are crossed or withdrawn from, when reality is just a fuzzed continuum where red muddles into violet and whatever you'd like to say is "green" is merely an arbitrary range between hues of yellow and hues of blue.

You wonder how many Germans were just tired, so tired, so, so tired, until the roof caved in and the floor collapsed, dropping them into a basement full of water.


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