Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
If enough Americans are beginning to wake up and face the awful fact that our country's basic functioning has become infected by a soulless sensibility, then perhaps the suffering on the Gulf Coast will not have been in vain.
Regarding the abysmal response of our government to the hurricane's aftermath, there is a lot of talk right now about accountability. Some argue we should have the discussion today, while others argue that that discussion should wait for a more propitious time.
But there is a danger in waiting, for a governmental status quo has talent for co-opting criticism as long as it can buy enough time. Passions cool; memories become revised and faded.
Six months after a disaster, the government appoints an independent commission to find out what really happened but by the time the commission releases its final report, there is never much sense that too many people are listening. The people are exhausted by then; they're trying their best to move on.
And the status quo knows this; that's part of its game. Do whatever you want; act horrified and remorseful for a minute whenever too much suffering results as a part of your actions; then put off the accountability conversation until people are too tired to care anymore.