Make Harvey a Catalyst for Something Good

Every time I see people trying to put the blame for a catastrophic natural event on a public official -- such as George W. Bush with Katrina or Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner with Harvey -- I suspect the persons casting those aspersions have problems of their own.  They are projecting.

If you want to blame someone for Harvey, blame God.  But just be grateful it wasn't worse, as in: "God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water, the fire next time."

Also, unless you're so desperate and rigid in your thinking that your ideology has given you a self-induced lobotomy, forget about global warming or climate change or whatever the euphemism of the day might be.  These events have been occurring since long before recorded time. The mountains and the oceans came from somewhere.

These are humbling experiences, even to those of us far away, watching on television.  They should bring us together, not tear us apart or be used to score cheap political points.

Titanic physical forces at work, as are happening now in Houston, should make us realize how fragile all our lives are.  Daily dilemmas that seem so all-consuming to us could vanish in a moment. I am reminded of a 1980 cartoon  poster showing a particularly ambitious woman, whom I assume to be a Hollywood movie executive, crying out in agony: "Nuclear war?  There goes my career!"

It's probably hoping for too much, but perhaps this "act of God," horrific as it is, will, ironically, have come along at a propitious moment for our country.  We have been going through a period of the most extreme division, driven to a great extent by virtually minuscule political minorities that were nearly, or should be, extinct.

These tiny fringe groups have been blown up way out of proportion by the media to appear of enormous significance when they should be minor factors of little interest.  Indeed, the more they would be ignored, the quicker they would disappear. But our media has become so rapacious, greedy and ideological of late that only something as monumental as Harvey has the potential to turn its attention away, at least momentarily, from what could only be called the incessant scratching of scabs  -- an activity that only encourages more of the same.

Put simply: these puny extremist outfits, whether neo-Nazi or Antifa, ad hoc or otherwise, would barely exist without the media. They have no function other than publicity. They are a narcissistic charade producing no concrete good (in all senses).  Yet they dominate our headlines and public discussion and are endlessly exploited for all sorts of nefarious purposes.

Working together to repair a disaster could and should be just the thing to turn our society away from this self-immolating rut (actually it's worse than that).  We can't -- and doubtless shouldn't -- all head down to Texas to help with the restoration, but we can do it with our hearts and minds. Given what has been going on recently, it may be a now or never situation.