Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Age of Discontent

I wonder what the old folks thought about in, say, 1932, or maybe in 1939 . . . when the world seemed as though it was collapsing around them. In one case, the bankers and stock brokers of the world, in pursuit of ever greater profits, caused the financial world to collapse, ruining millions of people—rich and poor alike. 1932 must have seemed a dismal time indeed. I know it was for my folks and grandfolks. And then, before anything like a recovery was at hand, came the prospect of WW II. Yeah, it must have been great to be approaching 80 during that period.

So, now, it’s 2014, and as I approach my 41st 39th birthday (me and Jack Benny), the world seems almost as dismal. Muslim crazy folks throughout the Middle East and Africa are intent on killing as many people as they can, just because they can.
And then there’s the world of finance. We seem to have recovered, sort of, from the George Bush-inspired economic collapse, but it’s been an expensive recovery. The nation had to foot the bill to keep the financial world afloat—they really seem like dim bulbs in the world of finance, incapable of learning from past mistakes. The lure of gigantic payouts continues to dazzle them, despite the risks to the global economic system. They seem not to care actually, so long as we stand ready to bail them out when they screw up, that is. I guess they lost a lot of dough during the Shrub era, and they have been trying to make it up ever since.
And then there’s the political mess. Not sure when it happened, but our political parties began acting un-American, if not downright anti-American, right after our Prez was elected. The GOP apparently decided that its name should really be the Grand Oligarchical Party, so they all signed on to the effort to defeat our Prez and “the other guys”—Dems don’t you know.  And defeat isn’t just another term for disagree with—no, the GOP seems to want the complete destruction of the Democratic system of government, beginning with the Democratic Party.  They really want an Oligarchy, recreating the United States as a DINO—Democracy in Name Only.  And of course, their official cheerleaders, the Faux News Network become ever more absurd daily. Employing the best form of reductio ad absurdum, Fox has now declared that there is an “unholy war on Easter” or maybe just on religion generally, attributed of course to Liberals, Atheists, democrats—all their sworn enemies.  Ahh, Mr. Murdoch you take absurdity to new heights of . . . absurdity.
So, I find myself becoming increasingly uneasy as I approach that exalted age—uneasy because I hate the idea that we as a human race, have become so destructive that we seem no longer capable of rational thought.  And that makes me sad, because of the kind of world we are bequeathing to our grandchildren.
And I wish I could look ahead, as one might have done in 1939, to a world that would one day be freer of demagogues and hatred and murderous rage, and unparalleled greed than it is now. But it’s hard, really hard to see such a world.  All I see is a world in which people in this country seem to actively hate one another, just because we all possess different views about many subjects.  Makes me wonder whether in this climate we could ever have invented the Peace Corps, or Americorps. Wouldn’t the GOP label them as un-American and part of the Dems’ class warfare?  Wonder what ever became of the concept of noblesse oblige?
Hello, World . . . anyone home there??
Post a Comment