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Doomsday 2020?

Eyewear was - you may recall - scared mindless last year by the Swine Flu Pandemic - which today the WHO has officially declared kaput.  Good riddance.  The panic was worse than the disease.   Today's Guardian mentions two brewing media stories from reliable scientific and medical sources that promise disaster in ten years or less.  One reports that a new bacteria in the human gut carries genes that make it resistant to almost all antibiotics - in ten years the bug which 1% of people in India already carry - will apparently be 100% resistant, and bring about deadly pneumonia.

Also, today, we are told that if the world warms by even 2% in the next ten years, which it may well do, the Greenland ice will melt, raising waters enough to wipe out low-lying coastal cities like New Orleans.  So - will 2020 see us dying of deadly stomach bugs in droves and drowning like lemmings?  History shows that bad things happen at a constant rate, and humankind manages to (barely) adjust to most developments, except when catastrophic shifts happen (like ice ages and massive meteor strikes).  I suspect we will muddle through to 2030.  But when I am 54, if I get there, I expect the world to be a wetter, hotter, and maybe sicker, place.  Fortunately, 3D TV, emotional robots, and genetic life-prolonging treatments may balance this out.  And Jack Underwood may be the new poet laureate.

Comments

Jessica Maybury said…
I'm looking forward to 2012 to see if those Mayan predictions are right or not! I feel also that I have been prepared somewhat by the movie 1012. Because that was definitely an accurate film. Yep.
Lisa Pasold said…
an apropos post, considering i just arrived in Nelson (British Columbia) & a suntanned man in a cowboy hat is outside the hotel holding a banner which reads: SATAN'S 2013 NEW WORLD ORDER. With a secondary banner reading: 2060 YAHSHUA THE MESSIAH SAVES THE WORLD. glad to have the doomsday dates published in advance...

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THE WINNER OF THE SIXTH FORTNIGHT PRIZE IS...



Wheeler Light for 'Life Jacket'.

The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.



Life Jacket

summer camp shirtsI couldn’t fit in then
are half my size nowI wanted to wear
smaller and smallerarticles of clothing
I shrunk to the sizethat disappeared

of an afterthoughtin a sinking ship body
too buoyant to sinktoo waterlogged for land
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JOHN ASHBERY HAS DIED

With the death of the poetic genius John Ashbery, whose poems, translations, and criticism made him, to my mind, the most influential American poet since TS Eliot, 21st century poetry is moving into less certain territory.

Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.