I am so, so tired of hearing, “Wolf!”
It’s why this blog began. People, my countrymen, Americans, never knowing a moment of want in their lives, enjoying wealth beyond the dreams of emperors…whining. Whining and whinging and moaning and complaining. Even that, I could take without complaint. As long as I could hide from it.
Except they blame everyone else for their “suffering” and won’t leave us alone.
Wolf wolf wolf wolf wolf wolfwolfwolfwolf…
There’s nine out of ten headlines from the New York Times. I read pretty fast, so for me that’s about twenty “wolves” per minute. Every single minute of interaction.
That’s a lot of wolves.
Well, I’m not apologizing to them. But it is my fault, not theirs, that in my fatigue I dismissed truthful cries. And so (soon) an apology to Japan.
But first…a nuclear anecdote.
I had a boss at BNL (Brookhaven National Laboratory), Chris W., who’s an almost unbelievably great guy. Razor-sharp and humble. Serious-minded with a great sense of humor. His big failing as a manager was, when someone came to him for radiological support, he provided it if he could…instead of calling his technicians.
Dear Lord, was that man overworked.
All rad professionals at Brookhaven were members of the R.A.P. (Radiological Assistance Program). DOE emergency response.
And before my time, Chris was a responder to the Chernobyl incident. Brookhaven sent him and others to JFK to “frisk” every American returning to Europe who might have encountered Chernobyl’s plume. They used Geiger-Mueller instruments to look for hot particles on people or their clothing.
And–this was a surprise to me–they found them. Chris said he saw particles that would peg the needle on even upper scales.
And the travellers responded with the wisdom and equinamity of those who understand the nature of our vale of tears.
Wait, no. There was wailing and gnashing of teeth. No, still not quite right. There were hysterics…bloody godawful amazing hysterics…
…and as for the women…
Ha. As for all of them. Cries, shrieks, horror, honest-to-goodness hysterics from “educated” upper-class Americans. Because of single particles ranging from tens to hundreds of thousands of dpm (disintegrations per minute). One teeny speck on the surface of their bodies.
So I asked Chris, “Did you tell them they picked up thousands of times more radiation from the flight back from Europe?”
And he said, “No. I just wanted to go home.”
Multiply those shrieks of “wolf” by ten thousand, over twenty-five years–with never, ever an actual wolf–and that’s where I am.
That’s where I was. I’d never heard a true cry until now.
So, Japan. I apologize for any offense given. For any offense that could have been given. You have my thoughts and prayers. Would that I had more to offer.
God be with you.