A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #45) - The Meaning of 2020

I have heard more than one commentator whine how horrible a year that 2020 has been to us.  I’m quite sure there will be an unlimited number of post mortems at the end of the year, but my comments should not be construed as taking aim at this year in particular.  No, I have bigger fish to fry, namely life and modern society itself.

It basically boils down to this:  these horrible things happening to us now are not the result of rotten luck or karma necessarily.  They are happening because we asked for it to happen.  Mind you we didn’t ask for it directly, but we did ask for it nonetheless by taking our lives for granted.

I realize that this may be hard medicine to swallow, but it’s medicine which in the end will be good for us.

Our parents – that generation who knew deprivation due to the Great Depression and World War II — were able to take advantage of a great economic boon beginning in the 50s.  The mainline white culture benefited better than other groups.  Not surprisingly and rightfully, the other groups (Blacks, Latinx, and others) raised “Hey, what about us?” objections.   That struggle continues, but members of both sides had the same dream: to provide better opportunity for their children.

My generation has been benefiting from the hard work and sacrifice of our parents ever since.  Our parents made sure that we would never want for anything:  food on the table; roof over our heads; clothes to keep us warm; and good education so we can (theoretically) get the best opportunities to prosper. Therein lies the problem.  They meant well, but eliminating sacrifice from our life experience is having a boomerang effect on us now.

Many of us in the middle class growing up in the 60s did not have to trudge through the snow to get to school like our grandparents.  Many of us never had to experience our parent’s disappointment at the lack of food on their dinner tables because of rationing restrictions put into place while the country battled fascism in Europe and Asia.  As a consequence, many of us did grow from being spoiled brats to spoiled adults. 

In all that time, we grew to be too comfortable in living our lives.  Life was good. Too good for too long.  Granted we got some taste of sacrifice after the 9/11 attacks and the 2008 recession, but neither could compare to the Great Depression and World War II. 

Gradually, we lost faith in our institutions and ourselves. Too many of us sat out a few elections, giving up on the idea that our democracy was working even when it did not directly benefit us. In 2016, many Americans believed that our lives would be better if they were run like a business.  Too many of us bought into the myth of Donald Trump as a successful entrepreneur who could turn our lives around.  He and his brand came to power in this vacuum of faith.  Ironically, his ascension to power gave us a glimpse of the fascism that our parent’s generation defeated.

This business man did not see any need for science and began cutting programs which he deemed unnecessary for his purposes.  One of those programs had the resources and potential to research and develop medicines for any and all viruses which could destroy our lives.  COVID-19 proliferated in this vacuum created by Donald Trump. 

This should forever disprove the notion that people’s lives can be governed like a business.  When a business deems certain employees are expendable, they are laid off, and those people are free to pursue other opportunities.  When a government determines that certain people are expendable, those people usually die. 

All of the bad things from 2020 — from the pandemic to America’s flirtation with fascist anarchy - are happening for a reason.  Fortunately, a correction has started and America is taking a step away from the authoritarian abyss.  A few of us numbering about 77 million or so have seen fit to reject the dictatorship bearing down on us. 

I like to think that these same 77 million people have recognized that life, however we chose to live it, should not be taken for granted.  Time will tell...

(Thank you for reading.  Please forgive this old cranky curmudgeon.)


Blogger Mistress Maddie said...

That post was brilliant!!!! And so true. As long as I have my health now it's all I can hope for. And not to take thing for granted as this year as shown.

Now we may need more Abba to lift us...whatya say?

November 15, 2020 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger anne marie in philly said...

co-inky-dink: post #45 talking about #45. and NO ABBA VIDEOS!

November 15, 2020 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Great post.
Americans got soft and realized we can't, or at least a great many of us can't, handle hardship or change.
Too bad!

November 15, 2020 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger Ur-spo said...

I thought it good too. :-)
Time will tell indeed.

November 15, 2020 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

There's a lot of truth in what you say. Another factor is that our "instant gratification" consumer society means no one has patience anymore to wait for, or ride out, anything.

November 16, 2020 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Dave R said...

I finding it amusing that so many are talking about what his legacy will be... That's easy. He will be remembered for all eternity for his monumental failure to deal with Covid.

November 16, 2020 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you Maddie. I'm all for more Abba (he said quietly so as not to disturb Warrior Queen.)

Thank you, Bob. Our weakness is the newest elephant in the room.

Let's keep our fingers crossed, Spo!

Very good point Debra. Those were the words I was skating around, but couldn't quite find. Thank you for raising that point.

Very true, Dave R. Another harsh truth we might have to consider the silver lining of the Covid pandemic: it prevented a second Trump term.

November 17, 2020 at 7:03 AM  

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