Friday, August 26, 2011

The Sky is Most Definitely Not Falling.

A Blast From The Past.
The beginning of the school year allows me to reestablish my routine of walking. I put my daughter on the bus before 6:50 AM and have about 45 minutes before my son needs to get up. I use the time to pop on my earphones and walk a couple of miles. Yesterday, I heard The Turtles version of "Eve Of Destruction". If you've never heard the song it's kind of a 60's version of "It's The End Of The World As We Know It", but sung in a dirge, sort of. Okay, maybe not. If you've heard "Eve Of Destruction" just once, you feel as though you've heard it over and over and over again my friend. Anyway, "Eve Of Destruction" still resonates 46 years after it was written, just in a different manner.

Fast Forward To Today.
The times we live in are certainly frightening. The world wide economy is in the dumper. The US has double digit unemployment with no sign of relief anytime soon. The US manufacturing base has disappeared. Big industry continues to move factories from country to country chasing dirt cheap labor. Our elected officials can't even agree that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.  It seems as if we don't do something fast everything our ancestors fought for will be forfeit.  No one before us has been at this critical a point, right?

Selections From US History.
I wonder how people felt at the time of the Revolutionary War. They declared liberty from England as Act I without an outline to write Act II. What about feelings during the Civil War? A truly divided country that chose to take up arms because compromise wasn't an option. If the country was frightened by the prospect of WW I (the war to end all wars), how much scarier was WW II just 2 decades later? Finally, peace erupts into prosperity and all we have to worry about in the 1950's was the specter of the Soviet Union doing to us what we did to Japan to end WW II. How comforting was it to hide under a desk during a school nuclear bomb drill? Were these points in history any easier than the crap we face today?

And Now, Back To Our Music.
As the 60's concluded I was almost old enough to gauge the vox populi. In my house it was something like "What the hell are these long hair, free loving, dope smoking college hippies trying to do? If they're trying to ruin this country, they may damn well succeed." It's a good thing I had friends with older siblings. It's 40 years later and the USA is still here, limping along. Collectively, we have learned some lessons easily, while other lessons have yet to be learned. The point is not the sadness that "Eve Of Destruction" still resonates. The point is that despite the ominous predictive tone of "Eve Of Destruction", over 40 years later, we're still here singing.  R.E.M. did their late 80's version of "Eve Of Destruction". I assume some group will give their take on "It's The End Of The World As We Know It." during the 2020's.

It's normal to be concerned about today and the future.  Remember that other generations have stood with us in our concern and yet we are still here. The next time someone suggests we're on the path to oblivion, kiss them and wish them well on their journey. Instead of fueling fear, recall American resilience and join with previous generations determined to succeed.

Do you agree with me that the "precipice of disaster" crowd is over the top? Or do you believe that we are hell bent on self-destruction?

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