Our Mad World

Hello out there in blogosphere. Late January around the world and I’m sure there must be some idyllic locales where the weather is to die for. However, that expression makes no sense. If something is “to die for” then does that imply one must die to attain whatever that something is? So, let’s say I book a flight for Barbados, with its current temperature of 83, bright blue sunny skies, white sand beaches and eye candy for any gender designation (plus those beachside tiki bars dispensing rum-infused libations topped off with colorful paper umbrellas; the good ones actually can be opened and closed, a bit of visual and physical micro distraction depending on what else besides that rum is coursing through one’s veins). Okay, I get to Barbados but I am D.O.A.? A massive coronary in seat 33A? Or I get off the plane and get picked off by a .32 to the head as collateral damage during a drug deal having descended into gunplay. Or I make it to beachside, jump into the surf, and instantly crash into a stingray whose stinger impales me. Or…

…or none of those horrible things happen to me, but something does happen, but it happens to everyone at Beach Barbados, and everyone in Barbados and everyone else not on any beach at all for a large geographical radius. This “happening” is the the ultimate to die for except no one was wishing for it, let alone wishing for it a la blissful “to die for” mode. What am I referring to? Well, besides getting hammered on rum concoctions, maybe I drop some magic mushrooms, then the fun begins. Fun? Wait, my eardrums and lungs are instantly ruptured. Bad as that might sound, I’m also impaled by countless flying paper umbrellas, now turned into lethal projectiles. along with cabana and tiki bar detritus, maybe even the pulchritudinous lady I had just made eye contact with. Yes, my mushroom ingestion becomes deadly ironic as all of the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies are radiated by nuclear fission. Why? How? (two questions I’d likely not have time to ruminate upon). My hypothetical demise aside, the answer would those damned Russians!

Hey, I know we have a deadly pandemic in its third disorienting year, and climate chaos (both of which have been idiotically politicized), and in the U.S. an almost assured collapse of our democracy at the hands of a lunatic, hate-mongering mob of fascists, but getting nuked solves all three of those looming problems. And, while the pandemic is a slow-walk into endless blursville, and climate chaos is an end game years away, (5, 10, 20? 30 tops)) Russia is about to invade Ukraine and that means East vs West again, and that involves about 13,000 nukes total, mostly owned by the U.S and Russia. The Cold War is alive and well, folks. What, it can’t happen? Why? Because it would mean global thermal nuclear annihilation? That’s called Mutual Assured Destruction. And for almost 80 years M.A.D. has kept those nukes in their silos. Keep in mind, however, that the U.S. once dropped atomic bombs on Japan, so it’s not like it has never happened before. Sure, the odds are it won’t happen because of the Ukraine crisis. But. It. Could.

Am I simply being an alarmist? I sure as hell hope so! It’s just that those other three existential threats to a kind, caring and compassionate life on earth, be it here or elsewhere, are happening. And there seems to be a lot of idiocy in the air, cruising the currents of capricious winds, making parents want to defy mask mandates for their very young and vulnerable children, while insurrectionists holding public office are still free over a year later, while climate mitigation legislation is blocked or not even advanced in any serious manner by nations far and wide, and more (like how goddam stupid was it for Buffalo to NOT squib kick to Kanas City with 13 seconds left and a 3 point lead?!). Uh, oh. Sorry. But it was massively stupid. Back to that nuclear annihilation…

Okay. Maybe all will end well (but not for the Buffalo Bills) and all of human kind will finally be able to understand we all bleed red no matter the skin color, and that violence never is the answer. Love is the answer. Peace, love and understanding.

Imagine there’s no heaven/it’s easy if you try/No hell below us/Above us only sky/Imagine there’s no countries/ it isn’t hard to do/nothing to kill or die for//And no religion too…

Ah! Imagine indeed. I’d say that song is an inspiration, but for his effort John Lennon was shot dead in New York City. Go figure. It truly is a mad, mad, mad, M.A.D. world.

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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