Friday, April 10, 2009

7 days. 837 Miles. This is what I learned.


In the last ten years or so it has become common for the relatives of a person killed in a car crash along a highway to erect a little ad hoc memorial on or near the accident site.   Perplexing on two counts. 

Why should it be that only the site of fatal car crashes are demarcated??  My grandma died at a nursing home and my dad died in his  home.    While we grieved the passing of both it has never occurred to my family to hang a wreath in what was grandma's semi-private room or nail a cross with dad's name on  it above the couch.  I suspect its much the same with your family.

And while it must no doubt be true that some of  these interstate shrines are a heartfelt expression of love for the deceased it must also be true that some of them exist only because the recently bereaved have grown accustomed to seeing these shrines along the road and feel its "what's done" in these cases now. Its not like we have archeological evidence of little shrines along side the road to Damascus.   The thought of families trudging  to the spot of their grief and marking it against the wishes of their State Departments of Transportation so as not to appear less caring than the family up the road is maybe the worst thing I've ever heard.


This was a terribly disappointing place and I begrudge it its "swing state" status in national elections.


I'll never understand this I suppose because I have always assumed that most Americans would now in retrospect identify with the Union.  Silly me.   But even so it must be said that this rush of pride in "Southern Heritage" is finally a celebration of losing  and that's not generally part of the the American ethos.   The Arizona Cardinals didn't go to DisneyLand. I haven't seen any new McCain/Palin signs in my neighborhood.   In the freely competitive Burkean paradise that is America winners win because they're inherently better and losers lose because they're inherently suck-ier.  Except in the case of the Confederacy.  That's the one example I can think of when people say "nice try" and evidently really mean it.  

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