Frightened employees spent their work day cloistered with police, the bank was closed for a day, angering customers who walked up and hadn't heard. People are locking doors which had been previously left unlocked. Helicopters circling.
We commend our police for their efforts and will take no excuses for the robbery, not unemployment, the economy, the war, the zoning law...Ah, damn. It can happen here.
Do we have to foul the planet so convincingly beyond repair before we can really find the political will to do anything significant to save it, if it can be done then at all?
How large a catastrophe does the economy have to experience before real reform can take place, without the ones who created the disaster in the first place still yet retaining their ability to dictate the terms of the reform?
And then, of course, the actual quote from George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Don't fall for any other variants of it. He also said, "when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual," and "Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim." Apropos of nothing, I suppose.
Here's a tale about how the world has changed. I forgot my cell phone one night on my way to make a pickup at the Rhinecliff train station. The train was going to be about an hour late, I found when I got there. The person on the train was going to call me and be upset when he couldn't reach me. I went to the pay phone to call home, had no coins. Went to use my credit card, but the light was too dim and I had forgotten my glasses, too, so I couldn't read the numbers. I called collect. Good old collect calls. Got everything straightened out.
Got the bill last week. A four minute collect call from Rhinecliff to Woodstock. $18.25. Plus $2.25 tax. Welcome to the past. ++