The Last Ride
I’m on I-71 and I see a sign saying, “THE LAST RIDE.” Passing the grated trailer, I see it’s a semi full of pigs on their way to slaughter.
It’s too dark and I can’t see their faces. These are anonymous animals with nothing to do but die.
An NPR talk show plays on my car radio, and people discuss whether Bush could be swayed that we’re losing the Iraq war or what would need to happen for us to win. I think of the anonymous soldiers — too many have died for us to remember their names — and I recall what the first woman elected to Congress, Jeanette Rankin, said back in the first half of the 20th century: “You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”
That’s what all the pundits and politicians aren’t getting. It’s not just this war, it’s any war. It’s not winning or losing, but at best mitigating the bloodshed. It’s all slaughter; and if we’re to survive, as a species, we need to learn how to do something else. Otherwise we’re all just anonymous, in the dark and on our last ride.
— Stephen Carter-Novotni