Aphelion Issue 295, Volume 28
June 2024 --
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page

Aphelion Editorial 096

September 2005

by Dan L. Hollifield

The Usual Rant from the Aphelion Senior Editor

Friends, I have good news. There is a lady to love inmy life again. A longtime friend has been waiting for my grief to run it's course, for me to heal. ApheliCon was one of the healing bits. A neighbor's 50th birthday party was another bit. Spending time with Rob and Larissa, Jaimie and Tejal's wedding, birthday parties for my neice and nephew, a baby shower for a new neice or nephew soon to be born... All this and more have helped me face the roller coaster that the last year has been. And now that I'm ready to look for romance again, low and behold, there's someone jumping up and down, waving flags, shooting off bottle rockets... And I thought that I really ought to stop and take a good look at the woman who has been waiting for me to look up and notice her.

We're going to give it a go and see what we can make of it. Both of us have no illusions about how much work it will take. We're going to take one day at a time, as it comes. By the time the October issue of Aphelion comes online, she'll be by my side. Maybe I'll make fewer typos.

Her name is Lindsey, she prefers Lyn. She's 23 months younger than I. She's English, born in Venezuala, and has been living in New Mexico for the last 15 years or so. She'll probably show up in the Lettercol and chatroom for folks to get to know her. I know that you'll all welcome her. And I thank you for it in advance.

Now, with all that good news boiling in my veins, do I still have a rant in me? You betcha, Red Ryder. I had promised myself that I wasn't going to rant on NOLA and Katrina. But I've got to, after all. But maybe not in the way that you'd think at first.

I'm not going to wade in on the politics involved. I will only point out that the disaster highlighted governmental budgetary and planning deficencies that stretch back over a century, in all levels of government: local, state, federal. Less work was done than was needed, for the entire history of New Oreans. That's a sad fact that everyone has to face. Katrina was a monster, and the entire Southeastern US now knows what it feels like when Godzilla wades up on our beach. And no, that was not supposed to be a joke, but rather a reflection of the magnitude of the carnage. I'm not going to slather and foam at the mouth about photo ops and dog and pony shows. That's can be found on the TV news if you want it.

Instead, I'm going to point out that perhaps the US needed to be shown horrible disaster and suffering right here at home. That we needed to know that our city, county, parrish, state, and federal governments have been more interested in pork and power to do the work necessary to plan for huge disasters to occur, and to spend the money necessary to build and rebuild infrastructure to minimise the effects of a monster storm in areas known for them. And that it isn't just now, the rot goes way back into the past.

And perhaps, we Americans needed to be shown how thin the veneer of civilization really is, in the wake of disaster and deprivation. That even we prideful Americans are only three missed meals away from anarchy at any given time. That even we succumb to barbarism when the going gets tough enough. And that those of us who think "it can't happen here" or "we're too good for that" or even "well, that's just poor people for you" are blindly wrong. In desperate need of having their eyes opened.

NOLA and Katrina have shown us the best and the worst that the human animal is capable of being. There are tough lessons to be learned from this disaster. I hope the US has the guts to learn them and take them to heart. Earth is evolving, conditions are changing, the old models aren't good enough any more. We all have to work together, or we're going to see more and even worse disasters of every stripe.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." We are living in Interesting Times, friends. Scares the willies out of me.


I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading...


2005 Dan L. Hollifield

Comment on this story in the Aphelion Forum

Return to Aphelion's Index page.