Marolt: It feels like a precarious time in history
I have an uneasy feeling. It feels like there is something big and ugly on the horizon that we can’t quite see, but is presaged by a definite chill on the breeze that is blowing from a direction outside the usual weather patterns. You know how they say animals can sense when a tornado or earthquake is coming? It’s something like that I feel. It’s less than an all-out case of the jitters, but something more persistent and deeper than a gut feeling.
The world is a place of tension and the tension is building. We see it everywhere, everyday — lots and lots of hate, anger, distrust and fear. It not the list of ingredients for making peace.
This feeling could be the normal stuff of growing older. The world changes and we are afraid to change with it and we begin to view adjustment as uncomfortable and it is a short step from there to considering change as something dreadful. That is the kind of thing that makes our kids smile at us and say things like, “Your parents said the same kinds of things about the automobile and telephone.”
This is bigger than the iPhone, which I have somewhat embraced, or Facebook, which I have no interest in. I am neither troglodyte nor techno weenie, and see that technology causes me as much pleasure as stress, or so I have convinced myself anyway, so as to appear somewhat open-minded, hoping to feel younger because of it.
There also is the family thing that happens when you get older. The kids graduate, go to work and move out of the house, just as you planned, prepared and hoped for all of their lives. You’re proud, you’re happy, but there also is that big hole in the road ahead that you can’t jump over. I know everyone gets through it, but nobody starts muscling toward the golden years with any feeling of certainty.
So, yes, one could assume the uneasiness I feel is a normal part of the aging process where I realize I am not as powerful as I once assumed I was and many more things are out of my control than under it. I am telling you this thing I feel now is not that. I know it is not that.
I believe it is something to do with the world becoming more and more selfish. England is puling out of the E.U. We’re hell bent on building walls along our border. Spain is divided. Italy is showing some fascination with fascism again. Even Germany appears to be on the verge of a bad case of historical amnesia. There’s no need to expound on the goings on with North Korea. This is all in the first-world. In the third it is worse, including genocide, but it doesn’t affect us as directly, so we pay little attention.
Nobody wants anyone but their own kind hanging around. Even then there is not a whole lot of patience for the native poor. We treat them like wild animals — stop feeding them and maybe they’ll learn not to come around.
There is no empathy for the whiners with a different skin color or practicing a religion we don’t understand. It’s as if we would just as soon get rid of all religion and make it mandatory that everyone worship the flag instead; remembering not to kneel before it but standing up stock-straight with hand firmly over heart instead. Far from being far-fetched, the evidence shows this is the trend.
The new blueprint for nation-building is to make damn sure all citizens know that they are superior to all others. We know in our hearts that this is true, because most great nations got that way by starting out by taking everything away from others who were there before them and who, obviously, were not paying attention. It proves all foreigners are as dangerous as our ancestors once were. If they don’t kill us first, they will at least take our jobs, and not a one of them will bother to learn our language first.
But, I am making light in front of a descending darkness. I feel there is big trouble brewing. As the rolling economic tide of globalization continues to seek its level, those with lower standards of living in the world will rise as those with higher standards of living fall. Half the world will rejoice. Half the world will moan. The problem, as I see it, is that those most threatened also have all the fire power.
Roger Marolt started off this morning thinking he was going to write about roller coasters in the woods. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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