From Truman to Twain: Interested?

2015? Let’s see, if you are a member of the Boomer generation (especially the late 40’s editions) you were born, as the Chinese proverb wishes to all, into interesting times. Count me as one such member, brought into this world during the Harry Truman (the buck stops here) administration, and ever since, much has happened, although the word interesting may not be the most precise adjective to describe what has come to pass. Feel free to highlight your adjectival acumen.

Not many days ago marked the 70th anniversary of the United States dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Never since has any country used the The Bomb on another country. The nuclear country club now has many members, although one was one too many for starters. That nuclear Genie can never be put back in its lab-created lamp, and so all generations born during and after its creation have been delivered into a nuclear age pestered by a perverted usage of that word interesting. As in “wouldn’t it be interesting if we just nuked the… (fill in your perceived evil empire here) …and just got rid of the problem? Hell, use ’em or lose ’em, right? The U.S. has nukes the way the Crips and the Bloods have AK-47s and Glock 9’s.

Be careful with that extremist jive, though. Recall Einstein’s quote about not knowing with what weapons World War Three might be fought but being certain World War Four would be settled with sticks and stones. But who cares what Albert E. ever said when we have Trump’s daily pronouncements to deconstruct and plumb the depths of his  profundity?  SO interesting…

So far, so good, and Japan has made it all the way back from their atomic ashes.  Damn right. I drive one of that country’s recent vintage cars, and it’s the most reliable ride I’ve ever had. It gets pretty good gas mileage, too. But I digress. Please forgive. Don’t shoot! Damn. Does everyone have a gun?

Interesting times. Yeah, beyond the never-ending nuke threat, we’ve had the Cold War (featuring those no-win Korean and Vietnam proxy wars against the now defunct USSR, plus our ironic one-time financial and military support of Osama Bin Laden, when Afghanistan battled the invading Reds in the 80’s), civil rights and women’s movements. Now, with the Communist boogeyman of the Soviet era caput, and post September 11, 2001, (transforming Bin Laden into public enemy number one) we have the Terrorist threat. Hmm. Isn’t all of that historical, global nastiness, well, interesting?

Then comes our Iraq invasion and Saddam gets the same Bin Laden comeuppance. As is we snuff them. But still the Terrorist lurks. He/she now occupies the space beneath your bed or in the closet, where you once were told the godless commie was hiding. Shit, can’t we all just get along. to quote Rodney King. I guess not. So, when and how will the fool for Allah strike next?, as in the recent incident aboard an Amsterdam to Paris bullet train, wherein several passengers, mostly Americans (we police the world!), jumped into action and likely, by beating him into submission, thwarted a possible barrage of bullets on that bullet transport. Bravo for our good guys.

Not that the U.S. need fear only foreign terrorists. Tim McVeigh? Columbine? The Cineplex massacres. Newtown/Sandy Hook.  And counting…

Interesting times? Xanax times? Wild Turkey 101 times?

Then there’s the current market convulsions. Blame China! Blame Canada! Blame Brazil! Blame Hillary! Nuke ’em all. No, wait. Chill!

Okay, take the Xanax, and wash it down with a jigger of 101. Try not to think about any of it. Space out. Commune with nature. Walden Pond. Spoon River. The Blue Lagoon. Ah, that sunset. Never mind, too ominous a symbol, no?

Check out that Beatles cover band. Let the Synthetic Fab Four take you away… Heed the advise of Tim Leary: turn on, tune in, drop out.

Or, see a ballgame. By some peanuts and Crackerjacks. And don’t give a crap if you ever get back…Or just do some crack (Leary-esque). Read a good book. Maybe a Scandinavian thriller. But stay away from the mainstream news media. It markets in anxiety and fear, fluff and piffle. As Mark Twain said, “Those who don’t read newspapers are uninformed. Those who do read the newspaper are misinformed.”

Well, this has been very interesting, dear reader, no? Whatever. Pardon me, I have to check under my bed and in the closets, and hope I don’t find a Cold War commie and a terrorist, both hugging a nuke.

Beam me up, Scotty! And have an Old Crow and Seconal ready to serve to settle my nerves..

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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