Archive for June 5th, 2019

Some Things Never Change

June 5th, 2019

Although I’ve prided myself on being a futurist, I’ve been sadly mistaken on too many levels to continue to embrace that moniker.

As a kid, the future that I saw for myself was simple. I’d go to college because my dad said we had to “no matter what,” and then I’d graduate, become a teacher, get married, have two kids and live a happy middle-class life until I died. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

My strong belief was the Vietnam War would be the last war. We would solve problems of the world such as the population crisis and the pollution crisis, and we’d outgrow bigotry, prejudice, hypocrisy and stupidity because everyone was embracing education as the way out of the dark ages of existence.

Holy cow was I wrong. Instead of making things better, we Baby Boomers turned our dreams into journeys of materialistic greed and raised our children to believe that owning things and more things was the way, the truth and the light.

War? Well, war has become a way of life for mankind and the United States. According to one estimate, since 2001 in the U.S. we’ve spent $731,000,000 per day or about $30M an hour on wars. (That’s not to be confused with the war on New York City’s rats which will cost $32M.) Except for a very few years, we have been at war in this country for more than 240 years.

Oh, and how about bigotry and prejudice. As a kid I was protected from the “Eye-talian” haters because my dad had changed our last name from Iacoboni to Jacobs and because my mom was of English descent, but we, as a people, sure haven’t moved very far away from stupidly hating other humans.

If you had to explain this to a visitor from outer space, you’d say that we hate each other because we don’t all look alike, eat the same food, or come from the same country. Even though we all bleed just the same, it’s still a major problem. This continued hatred was a major miscalculation on my part.

So, as I prepare to move on to my next state of existence, I can rest assured that my kids and grandkids will experience pollution, bigotry, prejudice, war and stupidity from all over the world. Unless, of course, they figure this out.

Establishing colonies on Mars probably won’t help because you can’t breathe there, and even if we find and populate a Goldilocks planet that is close enough for us, we’ll still have our challenges because we will be there, and we are the problem, the entire problem.

OK, here’s another idea. Teach your kids, grandkids, relatives and neighbors to “Do unto others as they would have others do unto them.” Stop being d***s to each other because your tribe is different. We’re all on the same train, the same bus, the same ship. We just get off at different stops. Think about it. This is a short trip. Why do we enjoy picking on each other? We fight over toys, land, boys, girls, money, power and God knows what else, and to what end?

Honestly, there are rational answers to these challenges, but there are also major influencers who would suffer financially if the status quo changed. The military-industrial complex, the medical-industrial complex, big pharma, insurance companies, the for-profit prisons, big oil and the industrial food producers. Every one of them has a stake in keeping things status quo.

Unless we can find these influencers a way to make money, they will continue to pay off the decision makers through every legal and sometimes illegal means possible to protect their interests.

My father’s best friend was an officer with a major railroad. When I asked him what his job was, he said, “Every day, I pay off politicians.” That’s “Peace, Justice, and the American Way

 

Some things never change

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