I have recently moved into a shabby apartment. People keep coming in -- poor people, homeless people, mentally ill and physically disabled people -- mostly women. They get in no matter how many times I lock the doors and windows. They are like moths, they are everywhere, they get in through the slightest opening.
I don't know why they keep coming in. There is nothing here worth stealing; I've fallen on hard times myself and there is almost nothing in this apartment.
Waking, I realize: of course I can't keep them out.
Common sense, and the lack of it? Only now does the Leader of the Free World discover what his parents should have taught him when he was knee-high: that when on a budget (as most of us are) one conserves.
But this common sense is appealed to only in time of extremity. It is reasonable, in this world, to expend any resource as if it were infinite. It is reasonable, in this world, to sell speed in juice to children, for the sake of profit. And it is possible, in this world, to persuade the insensible citizen that these acts are reasonable.
We pretend that the health of the planet, that the health of the children, or the poor, or the other however we define them, is of no consequence to us. That we can use, abuse, and exploit them with no harm to ourselves. That there is no connection among us all.
But the planet shakes, or the water comes over the wall, and we are reminded that pretense does not stand against a true storm.