The remains of the day—rather, of our insanity

Political cartoonist Ted Rall once again hits the nail squarely on the head.

He addresses not only the hypocritical posturing of people who claim to “support the troops” while simultaneously baying for bloodlust, ignoring those troops when they come home, and cheering the shredding of the social safety net, but he also skewers the hysteria over the downed Malaysian jet.

Yes, it’s horrible that the jet crashed. Yes, it’s horrible that people died. Yes, it’s horrible that families lost their loved ones. Yes.

We all understand the tragedy of this. No lectures needed.

But neither needed are psychobabble bromides about “closure.” Nor this insane, massive search for “remains.”

Remains? Remains??

What, like a severed limb? A suitcase? A necklace? In tens of thousands of square miles of ocean? In the infamous garbage gyre? Really??

You want people to risk their lives looking for “remains”?

I’ve never lost a loved one in a plane crash, but I have lost loved ones. I understand grief. I also know myself. And I know I would never, ever ask anyone to search for my family member’s “remains” after a tragedy such as this. I would especially never ask anyone to risk his or her safety in such an impossible, nonsensical quest.

What would it mean to get back “remains” anyway? A box of mush? A bag of human bits intermixed with plastic bits? Do people even think about what they’re saying?

Oh, but we’re not allowed to say this publicly, not in the pages of newspapers or on the airwaves anyway. No, no, we must all bow our heads and solemnly intone about “remains.”

And how much is this search costing? Nobody knows. (Another unseemly thing we’re not supposed to talk about.) The search could go on for years.

While people are dying every day from war, from famine, from disease, from poverty, from a hundred different things that are preventable, that humans actually can do something about if only they gave a shit, we’re concentrating all this effort, time, money, and attention on the disappearance of an airplane.

And that’s not even taking into account the wild, raving conspiracy theories that are flying about, invented by lunatics who see an Evil Plan behind every occurrence. I’m sure they think Amelia Earhart was abducted by space aliens.

By the way, here’s a picture of a tiny sliver of one of those garbage gyres. This is what we humans have wrought. These are the real remains of our day on this earth.

Lisa Simeone is a writer, editor, political activist, Glamour Girl, and radio host. She publishes ABombazine, where this originally appeared.

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