This essay describes events that reflect our human condition; our inane ability to morph from a system of relative societal harmony to one of cacophony. What follows is NOT intended as a value judgment of individuals or organizations and groups, but simply an angle on so-called progress from my exclusive point-of-view—that and nothing more. My scope of information comes from five generations that have overlapped during my lifetime. Plus, I have worked and lived abroad, which gives me the benefit of a variety of international experiences, opinions, and worldviews. I have a lot of raw data to crunch. Keep in mind what follows is simply opinion from my unique background and worldview. I am not “selling” anything. Feel free to disagree, and—hey—write your own essay. |
To set a common denominator, let’s agree that many people resist change—some even hate it. Change upsets the status quo, and causes anxiety among people who flourish under the current paradigm. When a paradigm shifts, those successful under the prevailing state of affairs get put back to zero. Their advantage disappears. Their successful past guarantees them nothing for the future. However, reality is that change—paradigm shifts—will occur whether or not we want it or like it. Some will be beneficial for the community, and some will not. Some will be beneficial for some individuals and harmful to others. Why? It’s a natural circumstance; a certainty (try as we may) we cannot control. As for human intervention, we are a bungling and corrupt lot destined to screw up the works. We see that in politics—do we ever—yet Kool-Aid drinking ideologues maintain that their party contains only good guys and gals. Wise up, folks, your side is equally self-serving and sleazy.
We debate about capitalism, socialism, communism, democracy, democratic socialism (an oxymoron that is basic socialism with a PC label), theocracies, benevolent dictatorships, and on-and-on. Here’s the bottom line: No matter the political system, history teaches that a ruling class ALWAYS establishes itself, and sooner-or-later becomes unscrupulous. Unfortunately, that’s the way of the world, and there is little we can do about it. Attempts to tamper with a stable system (beneficial or otherwise) without attacking the root cause (not the symptoms) always worsens the condition. And that’s not just my opinion, that is a statistical reality—a law of nature. In frustration, we resort to name-calling against anyone with whom we disagree. We hope this will attract new followers to aid in overcoming the prevailing proletariat-elected ruling class. The name-calling has ramped-up to such a degree that the words have totally lost power to anyone with intellectual honesty. Yet the blatherskites persist.
Let’s take a look at ecology. In the days of my youth, laundry was dried by wind and sun; not 25,000 – 50,000 volts of electricity. Milk, beer, and soda bottles were glass and returned for reuse; not packaged in plastic or aluminum and discarded in plastic trash bags. Some eco-driven do-gooders are campaigning against plastic supermarket bags, and plastic straws. Well and good, except statistics teaches us that to solve a problem when you’re up to your fanny in alligators requires shutting down the alligator hatchery, not killing off alligators one at a time. So, my question to the do-gooders is: Do you want to “feel good” by demonstrating your awareness OR do you actually want to solve the problem? If these activists are driven by their political talking-heads, we know the answer, which is the former.
How about sports and athletics? I could go on about every amateur, professional, and Olympic sport, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll use basketball as an example. We are taught as youngsters that carrying the ball while dribbling is incorrect, as is taking more than two-and-a-half steps without dribbling. As I grew up through college, these rules were rigidly enforced at all levels. Then, in professional, and later college, the emphasis changed from “team” to “individual”; and from “sport” to “entertainment”. Two sets of rules became commonplace; one for “stars” and another for everyone else. Over the years, enforcement of “carrying” and “traveling” became lax for everyone, but either infraction may (or may not) be called during a crucial part of the game depending on the status of the violator. The game is corrupt. I adapted to the change by no longer watching it. For me the so-called sport has become as phony as roller derby and “rasslin’”.
A social contrast also illustrates my point of order-to- turmoil. As a datum, I’m using from mid-1960s to mid-1970s, my salad years. I lived in Southern California while most of my family resided in the Great Lakes states. This era was the golden age of California, which offered free college tuition for residents, affordable homes, had booming aerospace, medical electronics, silicon chip, minicomputer, and oilfield industries; and boasted the fourth best economy in the entire world. Today the place is a toilet; a cesspool of unemployed, under-employed, and homeless individuals. One of my former homes bought for $60k now sells for $700k. Taxation is through the roof, and thousands are leaving the state weekly replaced by an itinerant, mostly illegal, population. During the so-called golden age of California, two things stood out to me as a young man: 1) legal suits against everybody and anybody were common and encouraged; 2) it seemed like almost everyone with whom I worked was on their third or fourth marriage. This was in contrast to the rest of the country. Today most other states have followed suit. The whole country tends to model the Golden State. Hopefully, (although I think it’s too late) the rest of the country won’t turn into what is now the steaming septic-log of California.
Then there is crime. With the ever increasing use of narcotics over the past 40 years, theft has figuratively gone through the roof. I believe there is a connection between the two; however, there is also a segment of society that thinks stealing isn’t “that bad”. Recently, a young man walked into his place of employment, a fast food outlet, with a gun and attempted to rob the place. The owner shot him dead, yet the young man’s mother claims her son was the victim because his stealing was justified. Why? Society was keeping him down. My take is that the Earth’s population has ballooned from two to eight billion in my lifetime, so those who die from overdose or are killed during attempted robbery is a method of thinning the herd. I’m okay with it. The planet is being stressed beyond reason with overpopulation. I also stand with Islam with respect to Sharia Law for drug use and selling, murder, child molestation, kidnapping, and rape. The penalty for each is death—almost immediately. The result would be elimination of dirt bags from society, solve the overpopulation in prisons, and cease the waste of court time and resources. Of course, neither the lawyers nor the politicians would support that. Follow the money. Blatant corruption disguised as human rights.
How about health care? Gone are the days of medical, dental, and major medical supplied as perks from one’s place of employment. Why? Follow the money. First visits to a physician rose from nine dollars to about $200 so the healthcare professionals could gouge the insurance companies, and big pharma piled on making medication through-the-roof expensive. Otherwise, why would it cost $250 for a vial of eye medication that one can go to Mexico and get (the exact same thing) for $18? Most people in my community also go to Mexico for dental care. State of the art facilities exist right across the border, many with American dentists as well. Sometimes I wonder if the healthcare professionals are in league with the fast food industry what with so many overweight people oozing around. Almost everyone seems to be on costly meds either to allow younger people to continue their destructive habits or prolong the lives of older folks with poor health. So far, due to good genes and a lifelong healthy lifestyle, I take zero meds, but like anyone else I’m still only a heartbeat away from a dirt sandwich. One of my friends remarked that I’m going to feel either foolish or surprised someday to die of “nothing”—except it won’t be nothing, right?
I am a believer of cause-and-effect; that is, events happen for reasons. Our path of change is mainly evolutionary rather than revolutionary—like dusk sneaking up before nightfall. And like it or not, change persists. Our choice is to either grumble and turn into grouchy old whiners or adapt. I chose the latter.
By Gene Myers, an opinionated man and one of the most feared pocket pool players in the Southwest.
Related Articles -
human condition, resist change, paradigm shift, political system, ecology, sports, social contrast, crime, health care, cause-and-effect,