We destroy the beauty of the countryside because the un-appropriated splendors of nature have no economic value. We are capable of shutting off the sun and the stars because they do not pay a dividend. — John Maynard Keynes
More good stories
Not all is death and destruction. Here are two I enjoyed in Zoetrope 7, 1 (spring 2003): Mario Vargas Llosa (I'll read anything by him, even his relatively boring essays -- he's one of the most skilled verbal craftsmen in fiction) gives us what is little more than an extended joke, "The Lady from Somerset." She chose to lead a romantic fantasy life rather than a real-world life, and thus lived far more happily than her neighbors. Julie Orringer's more elaborate "The Smoothest Way is Full of Stones" is about how constantly trying not to think about sex makes young Orthodox Jews think about nothing but sex. It's very funny, but also frightening -- to think there are people who really live with all those restrictions.