Thursday, June 11, 2009

The End of the World Is Nigh

When I was at high school the big threat to our planet was nuclear war. Whether that was real or perceived hardly matters.

Since then we have had the risk of terrorism and climate change.

I am certainly not denying that each of these is a serious issue, which potentially catastrophic consequences for the planet. Nor am I denying that it is the young that will inherit the problems of our present generation.

What I wonder is what sort of world are we projecting? What real hope are we giving?

I reflect upon when I was in high school. The threat of nuclear way was pervasive - it was obviously a focus in history but we also got to study it in English (the nature of propaganda, the effect of war poetry/writings on populations, examples of plays expounding on the theme), in science, in art, in most subjects one way or the other.

Aside from all of the other stuff I had going on at the time (being a teenager with the accompanying hormones affecting my body and mind, a family breakdown and the daily angst of life) I had enculturated with the idea that it was all for nothing and we were all on the brink of dying - does anyone else remember "The Day After" - and there was no future.

Is that what we are also doing to our current young people - selling them the message that government and the people must act now or there is no hope - and then not act? Where is the hope that we are planting in them, not only for a better tomorrow but for an actual tomorrow?


pita-woman said...

I remember when the movie came out(at least, I think I'm remembering the same movie as you),but my parents wouldn't let me watch it back then, & until you just mentioned, I'd forgotten it existed, so I've still never seen it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking Jane Fonda was in it???
And Jeff Bridges comes to mind as well.
I don't understand why humans and their countries/gov'ts. seem to have such hatred for one another to want to destroy the other. No good cones of it in the end. :(

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, mg. A thought-provoking post. I think my generation, who had parents who survived WW2, grew up to dread war. Then, when 9/11 happened, a friend of mine observed, "We never imagined this in the days of love and peace, did we?" And that's the problem - no one knows what to do, because you can't reason with fanatics or give them what they want. But one thing's for certain - war is not the answer.