Most of your ridicule will undoubtedly stem from the simple fact that I am, by some measures, "old." Some of your mockery will target my broad oversimplification of a myriad of current issues and events, deliberate though it is. The remainder of your scorn will come from parts unknown - the "just because" effect.
As I said - bring it.
"For we who grew up tall and proud
in the shadow of the mushroom cloud
convinced our voices can't be heard
we just wanna scream it louder and louder and louder..."
- Queen, "Hammer To Fall" (1984)
A critical stretch of my formative years took place between the late-1970s and mid-1980s. Despite being raised in a rather liberal home (thank the atoms for that!), with parents possessed of enough inside information (thank the CIA for that) to allay youthful nuke-death fears, I often found myself unable to sleep. I was held awake by hazy, depressing fantasies of atomic fire raining from the suburban-DC sky, or by rampant, uninformed speculation as to the nature and timing of radiation poisoning from bombs that missed DC, but were close enough (my father was certain that the Soviets' guidance systems were so bad that their warheads targeting the Pentagon would surely score direct hits on Bedford, PA or Cumberland, MD).
These fears, at the time, were not at all irrational. It could have happened. There were moments, I'm sure, when it almost did happen. I wasn't mature enough to embrace the "you can't live your life in fear" mentality, so it was rather stressful, when I allowed myself to think about it. Which was often.
I still live in the Maryland suburbs, fifteen miles outside the Beltway. Occasionally, just for old times' sake, I consider the realities of a nuclear strike on the Nation's Capital, but such thoughts don't even begin to keep me awake. Actually, nothing does. Except cartoons. And caffeine. And west coast baseball games. And the assorted pangs and pains of aging. And the litany of threats and horrors of the 2015 world.
Yeah, litany. Don't make me list them - and DO NOT try to come at me with any of that crap about how harmless and far away it all is, and how super-duper safe I am from every single possible liberal-media-invented (or, to be fair, conservative-media-invented) threat - domestic or foreign - to my way of life, if not my very existence. There are threats, large and small, and they warrant anything from a raised eyebrow to at least a healthy respect. And I don't even have children to factor into the equation. Imagine if I did! Then, all my fears, irrational or otherwise, would be justified!
Anyway. Bombs, guns, riots, science stuff, crime, terrorism, sleeper cells, gangs, road rage, atheists, guns, religious extremism, guns, cartoons, bombs, Ebola, deficits, suicide bombers, guns, republicans, epidemics, taxes, guns, war, alex rodriguez, beheadings, genocide, mass extinction, homemade nukes, guns, democrats, gas prices, health care, poor people, racism, Hollywood, gay rights, guns, religion, bee deaths, oil, bombs, Kardashians, pornography (speaking of), decline, Seth MacFarlane, guns, Fox News, and MSNBC. And that's just the things that will kill me before I can finish this Cruzan and Coke!
And that, my friends, is why I MISS THOSE COMMIES. Seriously. I miss them SO much. We knew where they lived. We knew what they could do, and how they would do it. Hell, we knew how long it would take. We knew what we would do if they did what we knew they could do. It was mutually-assured, and I think they called it "destruction." It was scary as hell, but at least we knew where we stood. The playing field was pretty much level.
Now, not so much.
No, my chances of suddenly meeting a horrific fate have not dramatically increased, since the end of the Cold War, but I miss having just the one main monster in my closet. It's not a large closet, and it is becoming exceedingly crowded. I have dreams, as do we all, and sometimes they're bad dreams.
|Bloom County, by Berkeley Breathed - used without permission (please buy all of his books/collections, because he is brilliant and I don't want to get sued)|
Another prompted piece inspired by my friends at Studio 30 Plus - this time incorporating "derision" and/or "ridicule" into my post. Heap away, guys...