Saturday, September 25, 2004

noise from the road

been busy the last day or so, and commuting not by train but by rented Ford Escape. Friday I was the wheel man for this little escapade, and today I go to The Peoples Republic of Massachusetts to (hopefully) have some fried clams with one of my sisters.

But I have a couple of observations to report from this rest area in Rhode Island. The first is that I have heard a pre-release cut off the forthcoming U2 album and I have to say it sounds very promising. I've only heard it once, so I haven't been able to subject it to the second look rule. And, I'm not a U2 devotee. I have none of their records, though I will enjoy hearing a tune or two of theirs when caught on the radio. But, at first blush, I definitely want to get this new one. There is an energy, a passion, a putting forth of heart and soul that, now that I think of it, is one of the things U2 could always be counted on for. More on this all later, or perhaps on (yet) another blog.

The next thought is about life and death. I was scanning caught a little blurb about Hurricane Jeanne, which is about to hit Florida. It was an NPR station, so you know they can't just report something, they have to call in some left-wing expert to tell us what we're supposed to think about something (as well as why it's President Bush's fault). In this hurricane report, they inserted a clip of statement by the World Health Organization (watch out or they will choosing your kid's doctors) on how, get this, dead human bodies, if left lying around, don't really spread disease.

The expert from the WHO, whose suitably European name was given with a peculiar pronunciation that only enlightened people could execute, began to assure us that, while they may be disturbing to look at, it is a myth that dead bodies spread disease to living bodies. This I suppose is designed to reassure those who find themselves in a famine, plague, or period of pestilence. What will they do for us next, publish a paper entitled "101 Uses for a Dead Body?"

I'm going to cut right to the point on this. These structurally secular, humanistic, and usually atheistic bodies of learned folk who have appointed themselves as the thought and value shapers of the future may be able to draw on scientific or psuedo-scientific statistical information for authority to back up whatever message it is that they are pushing on this particular day. But can they tell you why it's jarring to see dead bodies?

Must every conviction they hold be the product of only a current scientific belief? Can they tell you why civilized people usually bury and honor the graves of their dead? No, they cannot, because there is no scientific reason for honoring the dead. There is no scientific reason for cemeteries, mausoleums, or funerals. It would surely be more scientifically sensible to harvest and sell organs and use an expired human body the way cattle processors sqeeze every vestige of utility from a bovine carcas.

Cows don't honor their dead. Humans do (or did, and should). Science cannot tell you why. But the Church can. The WHO cannot address matters of the soul, because matters of the soul cannot be dealt with scientifically.

When human life is accorded dignity, it really doesn't matter if leaving dead bodies laying around is a disease threat or not. The bodies will be laid to rest with the dignity they deserve, and the threat of disease would be a moot point.

Wow, this did turn into a rant, didn't it?

Now get this. I'm typing away at a deserted rest area. I have the air conditioning on. Gradually, people start parking near me. Now I'm surrounded. People mill around my Escape, smoking. The air conditioner draws in the smoke, until I close off the vent.

I still have the most incredible sense of desire to connect with that lady again, but the infatuation is quite over.


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