Torrents and Explosions We Now Take for Granted

Looking for something the wonderful German critic Walter Benjamin says in Illuminations about the cheapening of experience in a mass mediated world, I came across this haunting reflection that describes the world as my great-grandparents must have seen it, in the years after the horrific brutality of the Great War:

A generation that had gone to school on a horse-drawn streetcar now stood under the open sky in a countryside in which nothing remained unchanged but the clouds, and beneath these clouds, in a field of force of destructive torrents and explosions, was the tiny, fragile human body.