Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Letters to Melissa - Sorrow

Dear Sweet Melissa:

As always, I know you already know this. You are, after all, there, ensconced in the trappings of painless, guiltless, serene acceptance and understanding of those things that we here don't fully understand or comprehend. But, I thought I'd just let you know that life here amongst the temporal machinations of human beings is still pretty screwed up; still pretty unfathomable by those of us whose perception of the world is encased in the essential worth of the full gamut of Western Civilization.

Seems China is killing dogs. There has been a five-day massacre in Yunnan province's Mouding county, that has taken the lives of an estimated 50,000 dogs.

The report is that since three human beings died from the affects of rabies from dog bites in this Chinese province, the solution is to kill all the dogs; 50,000 at least.

The CNN report of this horrible event reports that: Dogs being walked were taken from their owners and beaten to death on the spot, it said. Other killing teams entered villages at night creating noise to get dogs barking, then homing in on their prey.

About 360 of the county's 200,000 residents suffered dog bites this year, with three reported deaths, including a 4-year-old girl, the report said.

"With the aim to keep this horrible disease from people, we decided to kill the dogs," Li Haibo, a spokesman for the county government was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

Yes, honey, I know... The killing of dogs in China is nuts, crazy. Why can't they initiate a program to immunize the dogs against rabies? But, then, we're talking about a country where folks eat dogs.

Ah, can you imagine what my reaction would be if some "committee" or "team" tried to beat you? Yeah, it wouldn't happen. Or, yes, it would not have happened. Wishful thinking, I guess; wishing you were still here. (Sometimes I hear the jingle/jangle of the tags on your collar and I turn my head with a smile, knowing you have climbed the stairs to my second story lair, just to check up on me, just to suggest a goodie might be in order. But, I realize, of course, you're no longer here. And, I turn my head back to the computer, as a thousand images of your life with David and me course through my mind.)

So, anyway, I'm sorry this is happening. Eastern civilization confuses me. Always has. I think I got a D+ at the University of Colorado when I took a course in this complex and confusing subject. It remains complex and confusing.

Now, having admitted to being stumped by the gyrations of Eastern civilization--they eat dogs, for God's sake!--I'm reminded that I can't even explain as rational much of what this country, this jewel of Western civilization is up to lately. I mean , look at us. Look at the oaf in the White House who chews his food with his mouth open while talkin' tough pardner with the Prime Minister of Great Britain; the fuc_ing fratboy genius "world leader" who, heh heh!, gives an unwanted neck rub to the female leader of the German nation state. Hell, I would have been fired from my workplace if I'd layed hands upon a female coworker.

Well, back to the dogs.

I keep rereading this; I keep digesting this; I keep loving these words:

“We need another and wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.”

Henry Beston, The Outmost House

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