Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday musings

Last Sunday was the 72nd anniversary on the bombing of Pearl Harbor by forces of the Empire of Japan. Just reading that sentence gives one pause, it is as if one is seeing literature from another era in front of you. First, Empire of Japan? How quickly time has changed that aspect of Japanese society. And second, it happened 72 years ago?
How is that possible?
This points out to me the biggest change in modern society, indeed a change that is more sweeping than perhaps any other in history. And yes, I do apologize if after reading this you conclude that the observation is over the top, but, it seems correct.
The change I refer to is the way history is recorded starting at the time of the First World War. In majour wars and events in world history, the pattern was for the event to occur and then oral history would emerge supported by archival documents such as treaties, letters and occasional learned texts on the topic for historians to peruse. And for some, the only glimpses of it would be artifacts in various museums.
Film making, black and white and colour photography has changed that forever.
Now no event is ever lost in the mists of time or fading memories of our elders as they pass on.
You can get video CD collections of the Second World War on-line, and on Remembrance Day, the TV is filled with grainy images of trench and aerial warfare from the First World War. Normandy beaches are stormed forever and that mustachioed evil monster from Nazi Germany struts the stage over and over again.
How many times will America have to see their President Kennedy assassinated?
A popular saying that "history forgotten will be repeated" rings a little hollow when one reflects on how many evil and bloody wars have raged since 1945 (yes - 68 years ago - almost 3/4's of a century!).
Did mankind learn anything?
No, not really it seems.
Uganda, the Ukraine, Bosnia, Korea, Ethiopia, Argentina, Syria, the list is almost endless and nothing is changed. And just a year ago that horrible massacre of children at Sandy Hook elementary school, America.
Yet we will have this digital memory to watch for as long as technology exists.
Even in movies this trend exists.
Now in the Christmas Season the old ones with Jimmy Stewart, Bing Crosby and the like are re-run endlessly and these people have long passed on, in some cases decades ago but there they are - still on the video screen.
Does it make sense to you?
Anyway, in America some sort of budget compromise has been reached where possibly the country can function for a while in a non crisis mode. This fragile, soon to be voted on deal secures money flow for 2 years - which would be a strong step forward in many peoples' thinking. It should give some stability to world financial markets and possibly encourage American employers to re-invest in staff and equipment which would be a win-win situation all around. More employment, more factory orders, more taxpayers and less people needing public fiscal assistance and more revenue flowing into collapsed city coffers to pay for essential civic services.
Only good can come from that.
The spin off effect for that is if the American economy starts revving up - all the world will feel an economic impact and improvement. America is still the economic engine of the world and as soon as it starts humming again, the better things world wide will be. And indeed that is great potential news for all the unemployed in Europe no matter how much their myopic politicians say about how America does not matter.
It seems that the Chinese have successfully landed a lunar probe on the moon. In some American news outlets "talking heads" mutter about "dark" intention and yet one has asked the question that if the so called security of the moon (strange concept given the distance and more importantly the cost to get or do anything there) is so vital to American interest, how come successive Administrations have in essence starved the space agency NASA to fiscal death?
Here in Canada we have the same silliness where our armed forces have been trying to replace a helicopter fleet, apparently designed and built by Leonardo Da Vinci for decades only to be flummoxed by politicos of successive different administrations
No, the blame finger never points to those in charge, nope, the fault is in laid at the feet of a previous administration. Really, do politicians actually believe the nonsense they dish out to the citizenry?
In that great democratic country, the DPRK or North Korea, reports say that the uncle of the Leader, Mr. Kim Jung-uns has been dragged from office and executed.
Cool - true democracy at its finest, at least as done by the North Koreans.
Who needs criminal charges, fair trials and nonsense like that when a swift firing squad saves money and time.
Snow fell this week in the Middle East. Somehow while many might see that as "so nice for the Christmas season" many folks in central and eastern America that are up to and beyond their limits in snow will not concur. It has been a tough year for snow for a lot of folks around the world. Of course the climate change folks will now say that since the change is not a dessert world in the making, it is instead a wet, rainy, and snow filled world in the making.
Will they ever make up their minds do you think?
A sure sign (as if we needed it) that political correctness is so, so overdone and tiresome comes from a report in the BMJ journal, while purportedly "tongue in cheek" reports that James Bond, the super spy was an alcoholic.
Sigh, an imaginary book character being analyzed this way?
Wonder how much that report cost the taxpayer.
It ranks as silly as the broadcast reports that detail where Santa Clause "personages" residing in shopping malls have been directed by the management folks to refrain from saying Merry Christmas as it would, maybe, might, ahhhh - offend, hurt, alienate those that do not partake in the Christmas tradition. I wonder if these functionaries issue such stern edicts when events like say, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanza and the like come up? Heck there is even the story out of the small town of Saskatoon, Canada where a loud and proud atheist had taken local council to the Human Rights Court (oops, Tribunal) because local buses had Christmas greetings on their scrolling messages boards and it hurt his precious feelings. He never filed any complaints when other greetings (see Kwanza, Ramadan, Hanukkah) were posted.
Poor baby.
Folks, there is a lot more grief and sadness in this world to correct than worrying about the politically correct egos of some folks. People like some here on the coast of British Columbia who are determined to flee the evils of society by living on islands that dot the coast BUT demand things like electricity - free of course, roads - free of course, and multiple ferry service sailings to and from their island so that they can visit, buy things, have a job, that kind of thing, While it may be a stretch to say free, they sure as heck want everyone else to subsidize their way of living instead of paying the piper themselves.
I would rather focus efforts on all the victims of HIV/Aids in Africa for one.
Well, just under 2 weeks until Christmas and so next week I will talk a little about some things near and dear as well as thoughts on the season itself.
So until then,
take care out there,

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