Thursday, November 19, 2009

Upstream Downstream a Contemporary Fable

It was many years ago that the villagers of Downstream recall spotting the first body in the river. Some old timers remember how spartan were the facilities and procedures for managing that sort of thing. Sometimes they say, it took hours to pull 10 people from the river, and even then only a few would survive.

Though the number of victims in the river has increased greatly in recent years, the good folk of Downstream have responded admirably to the challenge. Their rescue system is clearly second to none: most people discovered in the swirling waters are reached within 20 minutes-many less than 10. Only a small number drown each day before help arrives - a big improvement from the way it use to be.

Talk to the people of Downstream and they'll speak with pride about the new hospital by the edge of the waters, the flotilla of rescue boats ready for service at a moment's notice, the comprehensive plans for coordinating all the manpower involved, and the large numbers of highly trained and dedicated swimmers always ready to risk their lives to save victims from the raging currents. So it cost a lot, say to the Downstreamers, but what else can descent people do except to provide whatever is necessary when human lives are at stake.

Oh, a few people in Downstream have raised the question now and again, but most folks show little interest in what's happening Upstream. it seems there's so much to do to help those in the river that nobody's got time to check how all those bodies are getting in the river in the first place. That's the way things are sometimes.


  1. This story is great it really hits home! Interrpted as lets spend millions and millions, Remove the dam, destroy the river, as we attempt to improve the water in maynard. Let us keep the blinders on and not look upstream at the WWTF the source of the problem.

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