It seems more important all the time that the past be bad, not just that it’s old, and superseded, but that it was ignorant, insensitive, unenlightened, corrupt, unworthy of us, the us we have become despite our sordid past. At least that’s an attitude I see represented on TV, in the news media, among the young people I am fortunate to hang around with. Perhaps it’s the simple process of getting old – not just older – quickens my ear to the sneery perspective of younger folks, not yet experienced in the glacial slowness with which apparent obvious enlightenment moves. Everything is supposed to happen now. And, of course, perhaps that was my attitude when I was young.
But it also feels to me as if there is a greater than ordinary urgency nowadays. As if the emphasis on Apocalypse we find so prevalent in entertainment and life style were more than passing fad, but in fact based in a real lack of hope for a future. As a put-on of our natural fears in a world grown incredibly more dangerous than it has ever been for the entire population, this mock-death wish, this toying with undeadly death may be a healthy response. But it may also represent a real absence of real hope, real comfort in the certainty that life, human life will prevail and thrive. If some idiot is just going to blow the whole world up, and leave a tiny portion of the present population, scarred, mutated, and subsisting at survival level, then we better see to it right now that that idiot never gets the chance, and that the human race has achieved such a pinnacle of evolution that the values passed on are nearly angelic if doomsday should occur.
But where in all that is the simple clear faith that we humans will more than likely discourage Armageddon, keep it at bay as we always have, keep the score one goal higher than the bad guys and idiots manage, as we always have, and muddle through in a manner than is pretty damned good for large numbers of us? So good that large numbers of the one’s who have it pretty good devote a large portion of their survival to helping those less fortunate? Am I terribly wrong in saying that is the way it really is?