Posted by: 2russ | May 13, 2011

Suspended Animation


Editor’s note:  This article was drafted well before the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 2011. Mr. Rider-Ribonne is a New York expatriate now living in the Seattle, WA area.

We are Brothers, You and I

We are Brothers, You and I

A Small Earthquake and a large Tsunami like estranged brothers were about to close ranks.  Suspend Animation!  Freeze that frame!

A natural disaster is poised just waiting to happen, as an inevitable surprise, a night visitor, a distant relative showing up at your door, in the pouring rain.  With either earthquake or tsunami the expectation is that eventually help will come.  The Social Contract, from the French), demands that!  And, we are irrevocably linked as a world people.  Or, at least, we’re linked until we are de-linked.  When we are unlinked it is the Unnatural Disaster.

Then, the social contract develops cracks and fissures, and then our weave is not as tight as it once was.  That is unfortunate of course, but people do move along and drift. It is no longer romantic but much more poignant. Lives are disrupted in such an unlinking.  Help doesn’t come readily from one brother to another and your Tsunami and my Earthquake separate us, one-from-the-other. We both decide to go solo with our respective disasters,, as a result of the “unnatural disaster” of the feud.

Out of Our Heads – the Boom and Bust Cycle

The dynamic in good times, the steadily climbing trill of notes leading to the crescendo, leaves us tingly and feeling a warm fuzz.  We like that!  If right, the subsequent melody, played sweetly and softly, only adds to the perfidy.  Go to the balcony and get a breath of fresh air.  The next descending movement delivers a soft landing through easy decrescendo.  Peace!

Sometimes though, the music is too frenzied, we are moved to dance.  But if, like a John Coltrane cadenza, it is much too frantic, we can not even dance.  We and the music are out of control.  Step out on the balcony and hold onto the rail, to keep your balance.  Hold on while reaching for the stars; the next passage is largo and ends in a mighty fall to a new low.

It’s alright to get excited.  We simply need to remember that while we are getting carried away, we might want to hearken back to less flush times in order to remember how to save, ( help one another, have brotherhood, strengthen the social contract, extend the social safety net), and act.

When the price is dear, i can see the excited eyes, especially when the specter of good times stimulates.  Animal spirits take over and risk-takers and entrepreneurs get creative.  They may even desire the “solo” path.

The question is:  will it take?  Is it a deal or a pact?  With whom?  The Devil?  How long is it good for?  If it’s real, does it mean that you can’t ever “look” back for fear of turning to stone?  5 year or 25 year periods can be incredibly short, when compacts aren’t right.

Blood Sweat and Tears

I can see that in times of stress, Tsunami victims would welcome a boat rescue, (to a high and dry place).  Likewise victims of a temblor relish the safety of a flat land.  There is no sense in going solo when one party has a hill and one party has a plain.  To take your ball and go home leaves both sides bruised and no one helped.  The sweat of such a fight is salty and stings the eyes.

The Wild, Wild West

There are of course many stories surrounding the founding of the wild, wild West.  There is “Highway Robbery.”  There is the saga of “Stagecoach” with its shamelessness. We have the Pony Express, the Great Train Robbery  the one-room schoolhouse and Boot Hill.  The hero was the lawman, the rugged individual, the emergency man.  He’s the one who put people up on “Boot Hill.”

Today, we have to take action and cannot rely on the arrival of the next emergency man.  We cannot identify issues, much less problem solvers.  Sometimes quakes are followed by large waves.  A good shake-up may wash something up to shore.  Soon.  Small temblors serve as wake-up calls.  Several market corrections may be favored over one large disastrous crash.  Life in the West is hard today, as it was in the past.  Today we are approaching a box canyon.  If only we can get through, then we’ll look far, far ahead.  But right now it is just four high walls.  Or maybe we need a Justice-Man to ride in on a white horse.  Don’t wait for Evacuation by Helicopter or (Deus ex Machina)!

In lieu of waiting, for the 11th hour or someone to “emerge” to save us, try prudence and timeliness to ready ourselves for natural disasters by working to eliminate our created Unnatural Disasters.

Or, Suspend Animation!

Tyson P. Rider-Ribonne

Seattle, WA.

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