News of the ongoing aftermath of Hurricane Ian is troubling. So is news of the worsening drought that threatens to do immense—and possibly catastrophic—damage to agricultural concerns in the western U.S. and to potable water supplies throughout the west, southwest, and scattered other parts of this country. Looking ahead to the coming months and the inevitable calamities brought on by frigid winter storms, I wonder whether humankind might finally begin to understand, too late, the fragility of our planet. I doubt it. Only when circumstances are so inarguably grim that the collapse of civilization is hours away will we collectively recoil in horror at what we have done to our home. It will be too late then, too, but by then the certainty of our fate will be undeniable. Today, too many of us still cannot quite grasp the reality of what we have done and are doing. Testing of nuclear-capable-missiles by North Korea and saber-rattling by Vladimir Putin dozens of military threats and counter-threats should give us sufficient warning of the potential that we are on the verge of irreversible cataclysmic erasure. But we’ve grown used to such stuff. We have recovered from all the previous instances in which we were micro-seconds away from annihilation; we seem to believe we can rely on history to announce our salvation from another near-miss. One day, maybe today, we will be shocked to watch as  extinction plays out in real-time before us. On that day, a few people will have fleeting thoughts about the effects on the planet of human extinction; the rest will stare in selfish horror at the utter carnage leading to the elimination of their tiny part of the universe.

But it may not play out that way. It may be a much slower, more agonizing experience. Starvation. Dehydration. Over-exposure to “the elements.” Who knows? And I’ll admit that we may have another one or two…or several…lucky breaks, permitting us to escape the certainty of human annihilation again. Briefly. Yet one day will be the very last day that the plague of locusts in human form decimate this miniscule dot in an incomprehensibly large and ever-expanding universe.

And a cheerful good day to you!


Watching Fox News is always an upsetting experience, but on occasion I do it anyway because I want to know what right-wingnuts are saying and hearing. Rarely, I encounter something I think I should have heard or seen on reliably nonpartisan media but did not. That was the case this morning when I watched a segment in which a deeply-biased Fox reporter feigned shock when she played a video clip of Biden scanning the audience and calling for a dead Congressional Representative. Rep. Jackie Walorski died in a car wreck last month, yet on Wednesday President Biden wondered aloud where she was as he spoke at a White House conference on hunger. Some people say he might have been referring to a different Jackie, but after reading and watching other conservative media “gotcha” pieces, I am convinced Biden simply had a senior moment. And I’m convinced left-wing and reliably partisan media deliberately opted not to make mention of the incident. Because they, too, are biased. Just in the other direction. I would rather not have seen Biden’s faux pas, but I’m of the opinion that it’s better to acknowledge it than to deny or try to excuse it. There’s no legitimate counter to the Fox News absurd contention that Biden’s gaffe is evidence of dementia. Actually, it may not be absurd. Regardless, trying to downplay it by not reporting it is, in my view, the kind of mistake that fuels right-wingers’ claims that the mainstream media is under the thumb of liberals and, therefore, is not to be trusted. That’s the sort of thing that helps right-wing media boost its approval ratings, even in the face of blatant lies; because right-wing media can use such failures by other media to solidify the right’s claims about medial bias.


What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?

~ George Eliot ~


Most of what is on my mind right now is personal. Not political, social, environmental, etc. The issues and topics swirling around in my head are, by and large, purely personal and quite possibly imaginary. But I am not going to post my thoughts about those matters; not here. I have done that too much in days past. I think my tendency to unload my thoughts on these pages has misled some readers into thinking I may be perpetually depressed or constantly in the throes of troubling matters that have the potential of pushing me into the abyss. My apologies if I’ve overstated things. It may be a simple matter of my tendency toward drama. I may over-emphasize emotionally difficult experiences or, more likely, I may overreact to experiences I do not “report on” that trigger emotions that may seem related to unrelated matters.  This could get extremely convoluted and complex, so I’ll just stop here. Bottom line is  that I’m not planning to step in front of a bus in the immediate future. If that changes, I’ll try to announce it here first.


The day has long since exposed itself as a carrier of light. I will use the light to illuminate my part of the day.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Illumination

  1. Meg says:

    I knew of Biden’s gaffe and don’t watch Fox.

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