Funny how we always used to say things like, "This is such a great time to be alive." Or, "We've got it so much better than any other age in the history of the world."
Well, what are the history books going to have to say about us, if there is anyone left alive who would be able to actually write such a thing?
Let's look at post-Reagan America. We have taken away what used to be a growing, thriving, and very productive middle class. We have turned out a couple of generations of people who are mostly ignorant of history, science, mathematics, geography, or much of anything else. We have created millions of religious fanatics, both at home and abroad. We have turned what used to be the World's leader into a below average, much hated nation.
We have failed to set examples in any important areas, while we concentrate on killing each other, and sending our best off to fight wars for the rich people who now totally control us.
We have very few people alive who are capable of looking at our Constitution realistically. Especially damning is the failure to see the Second Amendment for what it is, and the inability to realize that maybe it could stand just a little bit of tweaking. Be honest. The Second Amendment was written in a different time, and for a different world. It is time to update it, and pretty much scrap it.
Our response to horrible mass murders, on an almost daily basis is to offer up "love and prayers?" Really?! That's it? That's all we, as a people, are capable of? When is enough, enough?!
I just started watching an HBO production, "The Newsroom," last night. Yes, I know, I am way behind the times. From the very first episode, I started asking myself, "How can we get more people to watch this?" So much truth is there! They make reference to the early pioneers of broadcast journalism, like Edward R. Murrow, who set the bar so high, and Walter Conkrite, who was perhaps the most trusted man in the U. S., at one time.
They point out how television news began as an outgrowth of the really great news reporting that took place during the Second World War, and how the networks (mostly CBS to begin with) weren't necessarily out to make money, but to provide something valuable and worthwhile. The show misquotes, or paraphrases, Thomas Jefferson by having one of the characters say something about "an informed citizenry/populace/electorate" being necessary for the proper running of a nation.
The point is that this is rightfully, the raison d'être for journalism, but unfortunately, our commercial networks forgot that many years ago. At some poiont in time, they learned that their air time was valuable, so they started focusing on making money, and they justified their ongoing news programming by making it pay for itself.
So, today, our nightly news fix is dominated by commercials for Viagra, and anti-clotting agents, and obscure (expensive) prescriptions medications. This is partly because they have learned that young people pretty much do not bother to watch their efforts any more, but they fail to realize that this is most likely due to the fact that the commercial news organizations cannot be trusted to maintain any standards of real journalism.
They blatantly slant their reports to echo the political stances of their owners and the corporations that pay for their precious air time. So, now, instead of the viewers learning only about what is happening, the viewers are also told how they should react to the happenings of the day. That is not journalism. And, that is why we have been rewarded with political campaigns that make us the laughing stock of the entire world.
That's right. The whole world has been looking at us in wonder ever since we elected W, a certified moron if there ever was one. (But, then, I live in Texas, where we have pretty much cornered the market on fools in public office, ever since our last good governor, Ann Richards). How can an entire nation possibly be so stupid as to vote for such an ignorant fool? Well, mostly because the entire nation, with few exceptions, has been dumbed down, so that we easily turned into an oligarchy.
So, is this a great time to be alive? I'd say it is pretty much a fulfillment of that ancient Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." And, by the way? This is not ancient, nor is it Chinese in origin. Go figure.