Thursday, October 16, 2008
Rubbernecking the Economy
What is it about a wreck that requires us all to look?
I always watch the crash of the Dow, the rising numbers of foreclosures, the increase in unemployment, the horribly nasty implosion of McPain, even the paths of hurricanes toward our homes, with great despair...
but, strangely enough, also with a secret shameful hope for the worst. There is some vicarious pleasure in watching a disaster unfold. Even during the collapse of the Twin Towers and during Katrina, I was shocked to realize that some part of me was almost wanting these events to be stunning and awesome and terrible.
What is it in me that craves this kind of display? Sometimes I wonder if at root these awful feelings is the same thing that makes so many people want to believe in an all-powerful god. We want something more powerful than we are, something that can destroy the world, something strong enough to clear the slate and make us start anew.