me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Oil spill

I've been holding off writing about this because it makes me suicidal. But I can't pretend that it's not happening or that I haven't been thinking about it 24/7. And here's what I think: this spill won't cause the beginning of the end, but it will mark it. I once thought we would learn. I thought if a disaster was bad enough, at least it would be the canary in the coal mine, and we'd stop what we were doing. I don't think so anymore. The coast of Alaska is still recovering from the Exxon Valdez, and we haven't learned not to build undivided container ships. A second one hasn't had an accident like that yet, but it will. On the gulf coast, it'll take the pelicans and fish and sea turtles, the vegetation and the sand, decades to recover from this disaster, but they won't have decades. We're still drilling and there'll be another accident, and another. We don't learn and we won't learn. Not because we're greedy and lazy; or, not only that. We got where we are because we're problem solvers. It's part of our DNA, a gift of evolution, that we believe problems can be solved. So even if we don't have a solution, we'll keep crashing blindly ahead. Someone's working on it, right? Someone's in charge here, no? The answer's right around the corner, isn't it? Whether it is or not, we don't have it. But we'll keep borrowing against the future until the future finally arrives, bankrupt. The irony is, the planet will eventually recover. The earth has what we don't: geologic time. Once we've made such a mess that we can't live here anymore, we'll die out, taking many, many species down with us. But the earth won't care. Over millions of years the planet's systems will right themselves, new species will arise to fill newly empty niches, and this will be a beautiful place again until the sun burns out. We could have been here, in the garden, a lot of that time. But we won't be.

Yes, I suppose I'll cheer up eventually. I still have lots to show you, lots to talk about. I'll still write my word quota tomorrow and I still want the Suns to beat the Lakers tonight. But what's happened has changed, for the worse, my whole sense of the possibility that the future will improve on the past.

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