Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The 20th Century, 1914-1991, Good riddance

Even before I moved to this wonderful country, I used to read Philip Adams in the Australian; he was always the first bit of the paper that I turned to. As he got sourer and darker I pretty much stopped reading each column as soon as the word 'Howard' appeared, and I was pleased to notice a column of his not so long ago that reminded me of the old days.

How well I remember that feeling of growing up thinking you probably weren't going to grow up. I grew up in a city ringed by Titan II missile silos, at a school run by politically-aware leftist nuns.
That pervasive feeling that there is no future is why the 20th century embraced Cro-Magnon Metaphysics. If there is no future to worry about, why should anything but the present inform our moral judgments? Now we have learned to like living like this, and that is why, 'without skipping a beat', as Philip Adams puts it, we went from 'we'll all be nuked' to 'there's a hole in the sky', to 'the ice caps are melting' before getting to 'we need to establish a police state to safeguard our freedoms from the towel-heads'. Our society just needs something to panic about to maintain our culture of 'eat, drink, and be merry, for tommorrow we die.' Pathetic. That's what it is, pathetic.


Marco said...

Yep. But there is nothing new about predictions of doom. Haven't they been used by religious leaders in previous centuries as means to certain ends?

My theory has been primarily that predictions of doom are to get more money for the means to prevent the doom. If the prediction is that marauding hordes are going to attack, it's to get more money for the army. If it's global warming it's to get more money for research etc. etc., the resulting irrational fear of the end of the Earth is when the predictions have been too well hyped and people start believing them and start living only for the present.

pearlz said...

Two paths, one of change through crisis and another of change through all working as a great team for change.

Predictions of doom don't seem to have a great influence in changing some as they just create apathy.

Whereas to say peace, rather than destruction is inevitable may just enable people to get up and just work on making a difference.

Dr. Clam said...

Hiya pearlz! :D

One cannot hide for long in cyberspace, I see...