Is it optimistic to say that pessimism always springs anew?
Wait, let me back up and explain a little here. On Monday, as I did some of the reading of news and such which had stacked up over the weekend, I ran across a couple of stories which seemed about as dark and gloomy as could be. A grim start to the week, thought I.
One story currently raging on websites doesn't seem to have anything good about it. It's a dark deed, done cheerfully in a dire time and all on video. Some debate remains as to whether it is a real event or some viral prank. I'm not posting this video but you can link to it via this Digg site and the name of the video is US Soldier Throws Puppy Off Cliff.
Grim stuff from some soldiers deployed in the Middle East. Online rabid response is large -- reports claim a Marine from Hawaii is the culprit and that the events are under investigation.
As a person who holds animals and dogs in high esteem, I can't imagine what might make some people think killing a wee puppy is funny or anything short of sociopathic. But let's be honest - we've been at war in the Middle East for years now - children, women, men and soldiers from around the world have died. Were we to see individual video accounts of each and every death, hosted on some online video service then I'd think the grim nastiness of death would choke us all.
For some time the nation has conditionally accepted the idea of a clean and concise war with concepts like "surgical strikes" and precise attacks -- but the bottom line is very clear - people die in and around war zones in ways which overwhelm the senses. Currently we don't even see images of flag-draped coffins of soldiers, so a video of killing a puppy seems enormously heinous. As much as the idea of that video bothers me - what we don't see and don't know about is far more troubling. There's no way a video like this can somehow reverse or revise our nation's military action.
Stumbling across that video sure made Monday a grim day. And it just kept getting worse.
A scientist in England was featured in a report on climactic upheaval and apocalypse in which he cheerily and ominously advised: "Enjoy life while you can."
The report on the views of James Lovelock declares any and all attempts to halt a climactic doomsday are all useless.
"There have been seven disasters since humans came on the earth, very similar to the one that's just about to happen. I think these events keep separating the wheat from the chaff. And eventually we'll have a human on the planet that really does understand it and can live with it properly. That's the source of my optimism."
Finding an expert to predict imminent doom and human helplessness is not that tough.
- Unreturned books and fines at the library prompt arrest and jail-time.
-- Your coffee thermos could explode at any time.
Having a positive outlook after a Monday with these reports, that is far more difficult.