“It’s about the afterlife, about Hades and the underworld and being saved from them,” a computer scientist said, riding the No. 6 train at rush hour. “That’s why we’re obsessed with it. It recalls our deepest mythical images of rebirth and renewal.” “You know what it is?” a novelist, seated nearby, said. “The miners don’t want anything. They just want to get out.”
Chilean miner madness: it has been the condition of the past week in New York City, despite the fact that it is, in essence, a small story involving a country that no one has paid much attention to, and with no obvious ripples affecting us here in the United States. Doubtless the Shock Doctrinites could find an American to blame (we forced them down there to extract the resources), and the Wall Street Journal an American entrepreneur to credit—we made the drill bit that drilled the hole for the capsule thingy (and, in an op-ed on Thursday, the paper really did). And yet who wouldn’t be moved by hearing the Chilean national anthem, sung by proud Chileans as the miners rose to the surface. Chilean exceptionalism! It’s a beautiful thing.