It’s over and that’s it

by Andrea Elizabeth

PBS’ Coulee Dam on American Experience examines the controversy around progress. Did God ordain the damming of the Columbia River? It’s coincidental coming online in time to provide electricity to build a good portion of America’s airplanes and ships just months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor may suggest yes. But what about the decimation of the salmon and Indian culture in the area?

The American sense of justice has finally come around to making some reparations to the Indians and the salmon, but many Indians don’t want money, but their pristine hunting grounds back. They grieve over the lost roar of the mighty Columbia over the drowned falls that has been replaced by the hum of electricity.

The Great Depression and World War II marked the end of the great individualist/small community experiment and ushered in the “greater good” of mass organization and consolidation of power. The beginning of the end was the industrial revolution and Civil War. I grew up hearing that the movement towards a united world government was evil and a sign of the antichrist and end times. I don’t know, but it does seem inevitable.

Does it make it better to pay the victims back? I suppose it’s something, but when beautiful, natural things go extinct, all you really can do is grieve. And hope for some sort of restoration in the next life.