Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Shaman

In my part of the world, catastrophes natural and man made are usually expected to evoke some response from the government - rescue of survivors, help rebuilding, etc. Not long ago, though, and not so far away, a slightly different model was pursued.

A terrible drought, for example, might bring forth the lead Shaman. The faithful would be gathered by the thousands. The Shaman would pray a great prayer to the rain gods, sign a few proclamations, and wait for the rains to begin.

It's a good racket. The faithful are cheered by the respect shown their gods and the rich like the low impact on their wallets.

Now if it turn our that God (or the rain gods) don't pay too much attention to the Shaman, that's the kind of downer that only interests readers of The New York Times and their ilk.

Of course it might behoove the rest of us to pay a little attention too, since it now seems that their Shaman wants to become ours too. If his State doesn't secede first.

Tim Egan documents some of the results of Rick Perry's rain Shamanry.

Then the governor prayed, publicly and often. Alas, a rainless spring was followed by a rainless summer. July was the hottest month in recorded Texas history. Day after pitiless day, from Amarillo to Laredo, from Toadsuck to Twitty, folks were greeted by a hot, white bowl overhead, triple-digit temperatures, and a slow death on the land.

In the four months since Perry’s request for divine intervention, his state has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Nearly all of Texas is now in “extreme or exceptional” drought, as classified by federal meteorologists, the worst in Texas history.

...

Is this Rick Perry’s fault, a slap to a man who doesn’t believe that humans can alter the earth’s climate — God messin’ with Texas? No, of course not. God is too busy with the upcoming Cowboys football season and solving the problems that Tony Romo has reading a blitz.