I was sitting in a dentist's chair
today, thinking that until everybody
on the planet can get their teeth
cleaned and fixed routinely--
everybody--then civilization's a
failure. Sure, fine, build bombs,
preach holy words, teach Plato,
paint canvases, create symphonies,
pour money into The Endowment, and
write long novels--snore, snore, snore.
All of this and more
doesn't square accounts, and,
goddamnit, you know it. Fix
everybody's teeth, after you
have fed and sheltered them.
These things are the classics
of civilization, to be shared by,
to accessible to, all.
Copyright 2010 Hans Ostrom