ColGlobe At The Spoof

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Society: The Crazy Years

Some days, when I am feeling a bit more optimistic about humanity, I think you have all lost your minds. I don't hold it against you, because I don't think anyone is intentionally out of touch with reality, but it does make me cautious when I am forced to move around in the world. Your insanity frightens me, because it is an unpredictable insanity, and I have no way of guessing who might crack next, or in what direction they will go when they snap.

Half a century ago, a science fiction writer laid out a timeline of humanity, and labeled the years during the last decades of the 20th century and throughout the 21st as "The Crazy Years." During this period of time, according to Heinlein's timeline, all manner of strange behavior becomes the norm. John Brunner's The Sheep Look Up is based around the year 2010, and is filled with false "news" articles about people doing things which you and I might find completely insane, if not for the fact that those same things are happening in the daily news every day, for the same reasons that Brunner blamed them on more than 30 years ago. For him, these were not the Crazy Years, they were the end result of a society that was unsoundly based to begin with.

Any way you look at it, television stars who kill their spouses and then themselves is not normal. Exploding bombs anywhere, at any time, in protest of the loss of life is not exactly rational thought. The logic required to abduct a child escapes me. So much of what my fellow humans are capable of is based on unstable thoughts and actions that I have little choice but to admit that we have entered, for better or worse, the Crazy Years.

There is no cure for the behavior of the Crazy Years. It will play itself out an a billion minor deceits and major debacles, it will create alliances and topple the beliefs of thousands of years. And we have instances in our history that show us how it will finish out. The Fall of Rome was the culmination of another cycle of Crazy Years, and the debauchery and bloodthirst of the Empire's final decades were only symptoms of a disease that rippled throughout the entire society. Later, a second wave of Crazy Years, or perhaps the final dredges of the Roman Collapse, swept through Europe, eradicating knowledge and science in its path, and ushering in a period in our history that is simply referred to as the Dark Ages.

Are we really in the Crazy Years? Of course not. The books that forecast that period of time are purely fictional, and have no basis in fact. Never mind that the man who wrote them was also one of a very small group invited to help establish mankind's first voyages into space. Crazy Years are a fantasy.

Most adults get out of bed every day and work 40 hours or more every week, simply to give the fruits of their labors away, and start a fresh week in the same position as the previous one finished. And nobody seems to think there is anything wrong with that picture. Nobody seems to question that so much of their lives are being used to support the whims and maneuverings of the rich and powerful. My friends, I don't care what Bruce Hornsby had to say on the subject, this is most definitely NOT "just the way it is."

I have some bad news for those of you who have led sheltered lives and not had to experience the truth: There is absolutely nothing you can do that cannot be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. Nothing. Not your health, your family, your home, or your education. Everything you can imagine can be ripped away from by a single blown tire, or an errant bolt of lightning. You are not safe, and you are definitely not protected, and there is no amount of money you can earn that will provide safety or protection. Luckily, most of you will never have to experience anything worse than the loss of a friend, but that doesn't make total loss any less tragic for those who are devastated by it regardless of their effort to prevent disaster.

Are we living in the Crazy Years? Nope. Nothing wrong here.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Roger. Perhaps we got off on the wrong foot over at the TU website. I thought you had purposefully misquoted the absurdly maned Asian Prince, and that's a pet peeve of mine. It happens to me all the time.

    Anyways, I'm sorry for the ugly tone. I truly thought you'd appreciate thoughts on atheism and those of my good friend Mike. For what it's worth, I'm certainly not a creationist. I view Creationists and atheists with the same intellectual contempt, they've earned it. :-)

    Here's my blog if you have spare minutes: