Thursday, August 16, 2012
A Decent Age
Though he watched a decent age pass by,
A man will sometimes still desire the world.
Now here's an interesting question. Are we now in a decent age or has our decent age passed by? Did we have a decent age and as we didn't notice it passed us by? Or is our decent age still to come?
What constitutes decency in an age? Is it the way people behave, the way they treat others and themselves? Is it an attitude toward the world and the human race, is it a rich cultural age, a flourishing economic age or an age of major military victories? Is it an age of great peace (whenever has there been any of those)?
In my childhood the country had emerged from the great depression and was beginning to show it's strength, although the cars were still black, the umbrellas were black, the rain coats were black or gray, when out of a nation of great literature. great philosophy and great, great music arose a monster named Adolf Hitler and the world turned it's head into an even more depressing, indecent age. We painted the top half of the headlights black on our black cars. When the siren screamed in pain we turned off all our lights. It was a black out, because we thought German planes were flying over New York. And they were.
We killed the monster's men and won the war. Then colors began to happen on the streets. Cars became blue and green and yellow, multi colored with fancy shapes and fancy headlights that couldn't be painted black. Now I was a teenager and I saw another age pass by when everything became red.
A mad man in Congress began investigating everyone suspected of being a Communist or a Communist sympathizer. Important American heads rolled. People turned each other in. Accusation, betrayal, black listing (there's that color again), careers and reputations ruined. We finally got rid of the
congressional monster but the damage, just like the damage in Europe, was done.
Then the wars started, against the Communists, to make the world safe for Democracy and to prove that we weren't Communists. Korea, Viet Nam. Now I was in my 20's. Have I yet seen a decent age pass?
Protests, Selma, Equal Rights. Assassinations, JFK, Bobby , Martin, Gandhi, Anwar. Kent State, Oklahoma City, the World Trade Center.
Now I'm in my 70's. Fundamentalism, regressive politics, anti Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, the proliferation of guns, drugs.
A decent age may still come and, I hope, not pass, and there may be a better world to desire. Come with me and let us try to find a place where a decent age can be.
DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.