Fri. May 17th, 2024

By Jane Stillwater

I just started work at a part-time telecommute job that involves writing text for various online websites.  And since my new gig only pays approximately one-fourth of a penny per word, I’m obviously not in this for the money — but I do enjoy its challenge.  The boss sends me a subject to write about knowledgeably and I do it.

Here’s a hot topic to write about:  “Why we live in interesting times.”  In 500 words or less?  I can do that.

We live in interesting times because World War I was a mistake and it killed off millions of people and polluted the air and gave us Stalin and Hitler as a result.

We live in interesting times because after the Great Depression finally made Americans thrifty for a change, we once again began wildly spending money on war, pollution and other useless junk.  World War II was another big mistake.  From Nanking, Tokyo and Berlin to London, Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima — hundreds of millions more useless dead bodies, hundreds of millions of tons of more polluted air.

Then came the 1950s and the rise of suburbs, the Cold War and the corporate hit-man.  More death abroad and more pollution at home.  More interesting times.

Have I reached my 500-word requirement yet?

We live in interesting times because the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the various recent Middle East wars — Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. — have brought us even more senseless death and irreversible air pollution.  And now the Pentagon, Congress and the White House have started beating their war drums against Iran, Syria and China.  World War III?  Seriously?

We live in interesting times because now we are going to have to explain to our grandchildren how we willingly squandered their patrimony on a century of brutal destruction, death, repression, and planet-wide pollution — when we could have been building an earthly paradise for them to inherit instead.

We live in interesting times because we are handing off to our grandchildren the mere shell of a planet that used to be rich in resources beyond anyone’s wildest dreams and a sentient world that is apparently facing extinction

And we also live in interesting times because, even as we speak, the military-industrial complex that now owns our government is still happily destroying what is left of our grandchildren’s patrimony while even more happily entertaining itself with fond dreams of more and more violent death and rank pollution to come.

But I’ve clearly written more than 500 words on this subject.  Sorry about that.

From Robert:  The Most Important News Story of the Day/Millennium:  The most important piece of news yesterday, this week, this month, and this year was a new set of statistics released yesterday by the Global Carbon Project.  It showed that carbon emissions from our planet had increased 5.9 percent between 2009 and 2010.  In fact, it was arguably among the most important pieces of data in the last, oh, three centuries since according to the New York Times it represented “almost certainly the largest absolute jump in any year since the Industrial Revolution.”

The Globalization of War [are we having fun yet?]:  …Incredibly, the very real danger of World War III is not front-page news. The mainstream media has excluded in-depth analysis and debate on the implications of these war plans.  The onslaught of World War III, were it to be carried out, would be casually described as a “no-fly zone”, an operation under NATO’s “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) with minimal “collateral damage” or as “surgical” punitive bombings against specific military targets, all of which purport to support “global security” as well as “democracy” and human rights in the targeted country.

Related Post

4 thoughts on “Living in Interesting Times: Why Our Grandchildren are Gonna Hate Us”
  1. The US has also started beating its drums against Russia (again) and i can’t imagine anything more idiotic. This isn’t a time for stirring up old animosities. It’s a time for creating a vision of a planet that uses renewable energy, that recaptures its fresh water resources and has started cleaning up the mess a hundred years of wasteful industrialization has brought to us. If we don’t, our grandchildren will have a perfectly good reason to hate us. They’ll be handed over a planet with radiated air, be able to grow foods only in domes and have a life expectancy of less than fifty years.

  2. While I appreciate the sentiment of the piece, I must point out that the wars you allude to were by no means “mistakes” because to refer to them as such implies a mere fault in judgement rather than intent of malice (which is exactly what was behind them) – pretty much every war the U.S. has been involved in over the last century (and even before then) was *deliberately* provoked and the “citizens” (i.e. slaves of the state) were cynically manipulated into supporting them.

    No, this policy of imperialism is no “mistake” – it was purposefully conducted to benefit the ruling classes of the state at the expense of everyone else…

  3. Wonderfully written piece! I agree with Azazel though that the wars we entered into were done with premeditation and I will add that they were entered into for the benefit of some rather greedy elite to profit.

    I see today as a time when the children of the 70’s have some idealized and romantic notion of the 1940s and 1950s. It’s almost as if they’ve watched all those old World War II movies, studied the Vargas girls, and concluded that the rhetoric from those days provided some chest swelling patriotism. What they fail to understand is that during these years: blacks were still being hung in the south; Latinos were being beaten in Zoot suit wars; women were treated like chattel and often abused behind closed doors; and children were secretly molested by drunkard fathers with great regularity. The romantic values they place with this era were challenged in the 60’s for a reason. They were sick!

  4. @ Jennifer Lawson Zepeda,

    I concur – I was raised on these right-wing notions that things were so much better back in the first half of the 20th century than they are now: that women knew better than to assume male roles, that people loved their country with greater ferver (like loving an incorporeal entity is some kind of virtue…), that faith was respected in public – and things went to hell since the 60s and it’s all the hippies’ fault!

    Looking back, I see nothing but sheer ignorance about how the world actually works in such nostalgic thinking – people always believed that the past was so much greater than the present (just read Greek mythology to see the same basic themes espoused) because they cling to what’s most familiar to them: even if those familiar things are a poison to them (thus the reason most people never shake off their social conditioning and realize their potential as sovereign beings).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.