Friday, December 4, 2015
You Asked For It
Because several of you asked, here's my original deleted post from yesterday. Even though I spiked it, a fellow blog reader had it in her news feed and was able to send it back to me. (An excellent example of how things we post on the Internet are never really gone, even when we delete them!) Apologies in advance for the gloominess.
Dave and I were just getting ready to go to bed last night when the news broke about San Bernardino. It's become a weekly, if not daily, event, hasn't it? The latest mass shooting. All I can say is, there are way too many angry, disconnected, ignorant people and way, way too many easily available weapons.
Such insanity. And I suspect that it is exacerbated by the steady flow of wealth to the upper rungs of our economic ladder, and the resulting deprivation of middle- and working-class people all across the globe (and certainly in the developed world). None of us know the motives of the attackers in California, but overall, people have reason to be angry. Even those who seem to be motivated by other causes, such as religious extremism, are often fueled at least in part by a sense of desperation and dissatisfaction about their own lives. If they had a freaking JOB they'd be too busy to plot a shooting and build a bomb.*
Do you remember the movie "Soylent Green"? Everyone knows the basic plot -- people eating people. But I keep thinking of the scenes showing a crowded, polluted, gray world, with people literally fighting and climbing over each other in the smoggy streets to claim dwindling resources. And how when you die, you're shown a movie of the world as it used to be, with wildflowers and bees and wild animals and trees and blue skies. Are we becoming that gray, crowded world? I worry that we are.
On a related note, I read an interesting column in The Times yesterday about economic growth, and whether we can realistically expect the world to continue growing without end. It's a question that has always puzzled me -- economists and business leaders say growth is essential, but how can it be endless? We work within a system of finite resources.
The problem, of course, is that in a no-growth scenario, while we may be arresting the forces that are polluting our planet, we're depriving people of stability and livelihood -- which leads to even more chaos.
I hate to say it so bluntly, but I am glad I don't have children.
*In the California case, we now know the shooter DID have a job, but came from an abusive family with a mentally ill, alcoholic parent. I still maintain joblessness is a factor in much violent mischief.
(Photo: Tottenham, in October.)