Life is more complicated than some think

Jackie Krawczak advises us that the real consequence of Venetian flooding is not that the city — a UNESCO World Heritage site — is sinking into the lagoon, or that the flooding is such an increasingly dire issue that the New York Times has published an article for tourists on what to expect, but rather that it gave her and her cohorts the opportunity to “wade through 12 or more inches of water with fun plastic boots over our own shoes.” One supposes that the prospect of wearing “fun” plastic boots brings little comfort to Venetians whose daily lives are increasingly perilous.

We move on. Ms. Krawczak, ever one to find a moral in any circumstance, then tells us that, “when things happen outside of our control, we should remember to look at it with a perspective of adventure.” One thinks of the wildfires consuming large chunks of California, or Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico, or those living in the “Tornado Alley” of the Midwest. Certainly, extreme weather events are outside of our control. We know this because congressional Republicans tell us that climate change is not man-made. So, we try to imagine those suddenly (and still) without homes or belongings in Southern California or Puerto Rico or Oklahoma (we leave aside those living in abject, crushing poverty, which the Protestant work ethic will tell us is their own fault).

We try to imagine these people, devastated financially and otherwise by events outside their control, looking at it with a perspective of adventure. We are unable to imagine this. Staying with Ms. Krawczak’s facile philosophy, we try to imagine these people, their spirits raised, if not their prospects, by the wearing of “fun” plastic boots. Again, we fail. Perhaps life is more complicated than we — or Ms. Krawczak — imagine.




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