Thursday, August 4, 2011

May You Live in Interesting Times.

I googled this and found that many other bloggers had recently done the same. They also looked up wikipedia to see where the phrase came from. It seems it is supposed to be an ancient Chinese curse but that is not certain at all. However whatever the origin I seemed to have lived in interesting times but not because of the curse.

I was born in the 1920's just at the beginning of the great depression. Just after the first sound movies and not long after the First World War. The world population was a little over a quarter of what it is now so to me that is the biggest change which has had a domino or wave, no tsunami effect on everything since my birth;the population increase to seven billion people.The years after the second World War were the most pleasant from say 1950 to 1970. Over that period jobs were for life.

I was a conservationist before there was environmentalism, I was a non smoker when everyone smoked, I rode a bicycle when it was very unpopular.I was a physical culture freak and ate only health foods when I was young.I went to university at twenty five years old and was told I was too old. Now I feel I have been usurped. However I think I have lived a charmed life. My wife says blessed but I stick to charmed. My father had a good job during the depression and prospered but was too old to take part in the War and I was too young.I was too old for the bush war in South Africa but joined the commandos.I represented my provice and South Africa in my chosen sport.
All that has past now and the country of my youth exists only in my memory.

Now I live in New Zealand and watch everything from a distance.

Now I wonder if we really are cursed with a bursting population explosion causing dramas and mayhem all brought to life with big plasma TV screens . One calamity or disaster after another. Sports extravaganzas to fill in the gaps.Where to start. The destruction of the World Trade centre,then there was New Orleans, the Pacific tsunami devastating Indonesia and Sri Lanka, followed by one in Samoa.Earth quakes in Haiti, New Zealand and Japan with the devastating tsunami and resulting damage to the nuclear reactor. Floods in the United States, Pakistan and Australia and China and other parts which I fail to remember. They became main news for so short a time before being overtaken by something new. DSK, News of the World, and the horrific shooting in Norway.

But what of Bush's and Blair's lies, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan,and the killing of bin Larden. Everything just blurs into one holy mess. Democracy in the United states seems not to work and China maybe is on the verge of becoming the sole superpower owning all the cash. When things start to unravel they can unravel very very quickly. The Soviet Union seemed to crash rather rapidly and and so did many other Empires come to an end almost unexpectedly.Britain once ruled the world and now just a hundred years later is a minor power following like a lap dog after the United States, a country it once ruled.
Africa is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Famine in the horn of Africa,Kenya and Sudan. The Arab spring looks more like it will end in an Arab winter.
Have I missed something?
Yes. The financial mess the west is in.Summed up in an article here.

This was the heaven on earth for which liberal democracy had been striving: a system of wealth redistribution that was merciful but not Marxist, and a guarantee of lifelong economic and social security for everyone that did not involve totalitarian government. This was the ideal the European Union was designed to entrench. It was the dream of Blairism, which adopted it as a replacement for the state socialism of Old Labour. And it is the aspiration of President Obama and his liberal Democrats, who want the United States to become a European-style social democracy.


We have arrived at the endgame of what was an untenable doctrine: to pay for the kind of entitlements that populations have been led to expect by their politicians, the wealth-creating sector has to be taxed to a degree that makes it almost impossible for it to create the wealth that is needed to pay for the entitlements that populations have been led to expect, etc, etc.

So from a distance it certainly is interesting.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home