Thursday, September 4, 2008

Memories of My Era: The Age of Turmoil

Dear People who Sell Fear (and Those who Buy It),

When I hear people describe or reminisce about times gone by, the say things like, "It was the age of innocence!" or "It was the era of the enlightenment!" or "It was the Quiet Revolution!"

It seems that the days of yore have a lot of positive ascriptions. And I wish I would be able to remember my history with as much reverence.

Unfortunately, I don't think I will be able to have a positive regard for the days of my youth. The times I have grown up in are times of confusion, frustration, and of deep dark closets creaking open.

In my short life-span on Earth I have seen major advancements in technology, and I have witnessed how it has torn us apart (as it paradoxically unites us in a vast network). These advancements have motivated people to question our human capacities and motivations; as we now, like never before, have a capacity to do the work of the gods.

I have seen how the scope of war has changed. It seems that wars are just easier to initiate, since all we really need to do is push a few buttons and move around a few big toys. And it seems that wars and strife have become a tool to suit economic needs instead of relieving oppression and promoting freedom. (Although, I'm sure a cynic could argue that most wars, in the end, are about economy, and always have been.)

Relating to the issue of war, North America is currently suffering as the economy reorganizes itself around emerging countries who are introducing new competition; thus destabilizing the status quo. All political figures recognize this as a period of transition, and all are scrambling for control so that their nation will wind up at the top of the heap at the end of the day. (Whenever that comes!) And in their scramble for economic success; leaders are engaging their citizens in battles at home and abroad that are exhausting and tormenting their people.

I'm now watching two countries endure elections. Elections that have major consequences for all. And as I watch the media coverage, all I can see is that the candidates are more interested in pointing out why their opponents are bad choices, instead of why their own candidacy is the good choice. In this, I see our fellow countrymen more divided than ever, and more rigid in opinion and ideology than ever.

To add to the list, political scandal and health and environmental crises compound the problems enough to whip the ordinary citizen into a froth of fear.

It seems the time of innocence is lost; and that our modern era of technology that was once hailed as the new enlightenment has come with a heavy burden: Change. And with change, comes turmoil. Welcome to the age of change; welcome to the era of turmoil.

Hiding behind my hands until it's over,

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