The replays of our lives

Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz

What was there to watch this week except for the devastation brought about by the habagat combined with Typhoon Maring and the devastation brought about by the pork barrel scandal?

Here I am fatigued by Hollywood churning out the same movies over and over and over again (this week it was City of Bones—heir apparent to Twilight, Hunger Games, I am Number Four and Beautiful Creatures; Planes which is basically Cars with wings; and RIPD which is Men in Black meets Ghostbusters). And here we are, fatigued by the same scenes of houses, shanties and cars submerged in muddy water, by Filipinos turning anything they could into boats, by children playing in ankle deep water.

Here we are again, disgusted by taxpayer money funding lavish birthday parties in Beverly Hills, by the suspicious indifference of key people in the Congress and the Senate.

Then there’s the collision at sea involving a 2Go boat and a Sulpicio Express Ship. Sulpicio may have changed their name but it is still the same company responsible for four tragedies at sea since the late ‘80s. Their boats earned the moniker “floating coffins.”

Petron was also responsible for an oil spill by Manila Bay on August 12. They were the parties responsible for the extensive oil spill damage in Guimaras in 2006.

In Oklahoma, USA, three bored teenage boys shot and killed a 23-year-old Australian college baseball player, Christopher Lane, while he was jogging. They did it just for the fun of it. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, the Batman movie—the trend is alarming and scary but the battle for changing “gun culture” in the US is an uphill one.

So yes, here we are with replays of catastrophes. We already know it’s bad to cut trees; we already know it’s bad to throw trash just anywhere;we already know it is disastrous to build where you are not intended to; we already know money should go to public works instead of Porsches and Jimmy Choos for debutantes.

We already know corporations have to be made accountable for their disregard of human life and the fragile eco system. Yet we let them off the hook so they can kill and spill another day.

At a recent talk I attended on urban planning, someone asked the speaker, “Why do we keep doing these things?”

The speaker, a very engaging and articulate architect and advocate of urban / city planning gave a simple answer I will not forget: “It’s because we’re insane.” And he followed with Einstein’s definition of insanity, which is, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”


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