The lovely Mrs K and I read a magazine called ‘The Week”. The format is simple. It takes a variety of topics that occurred 7 days hence and gives a short summary. It then quotes various news sources both left and right as to their take on the subject and you hopefully can form your own opinion. Most of the time it works very well.
It is quite a trip this particular week, from coast to coast, north and south and continent to continent. I love different slants and enjoy hearing what pratfalls and pitfalls happen elsewhere in our world. I came away this week with WTF flashing in red. This planet is getting nuts. We hope to get back to normal after the COVID lockdown. I have not a clue what normal is?
Here in Fla La Land as in other old fart hangouts we yearn for the good old days. We have this distinct memory of a perfect life that happened anywhere from ten to fifty years ago. Name your year.
Music, cars, photo albums try to recapture the magic. No matter how real nostalgia feels, our world has changed and in a startling way.
Globalization, technology, social media, gender identity et al were not part of the conversation a short time ago. We changed our thoughts and ideas from time to time but we relied on history and pendulum theories to bring us back to True North eventually. I am not so sure right now. People really look at things differently.
I wander every so often to the Pew Research website for a look at the latest trends. After the elections some may think polling of any sort is absurd but Pew seems to do a pretty good job, finding whatever pulse there is on issues of the day. They rank “center”on most reviews which for the moment is the best we got.
I was struck by one category of study,” Generations and Age”. As a Boomer,I think I have a pretty good idea of what my generation is thinking but what about millennials and generation Z’ers? That’s the group from 16-40 years of age right now. I can see some rolling their eyes and saying who cares? I think we better.
We Boomers for the most part are white, Judeo/Christian, and a combination of average Joes and a certain select group that achieved higher education. We are living longer than expected, so our numbers are pretty high as a percentage of the population. Sounds great but we are also dependent generation that sucks up a lot of healthcare dollars.
The new kids are feeling a tad more rebellious than previous groups. They are much more educated. They have the ability to speak out through social media at the drop of a hat. They have found kindred souls not in the workplace but in the hundreds if not thousands of causes they identify with. They have been entitled and like it. They don’t worry so much about their career as their experience of the present.
I don’t mention this as an alarm but as a reality. We can react in one of two ways. We can ignore them and put them down and say we have the control of the purse. They will change when they get hungry, we say. Life is hard knocks. Get used to it. Or we can try to understand where they are coming from and try to parse true fact from fantasy.
They have new ideas and they might scare you. One third say they think socialism may not be all the bad. They think the government should be more and more involved in our daily lives and provide more assurances for a predestined future. Religion eventually fades away and there really are no more color lines.
That last piece is purely demographic. For seniors now, the majority are white. For the new generations, whites are no longer a majority and the world becomes more one of color. Cross marrying or living together are creating families that defy the traditional definition of race. It is said in a hundred years you might not recognize any difference at all.
This is just one aspect of our world. Look at global politics from China to Russia to Turkey or Subsaharan Africa. Everybody wants to flex their muscles because it makes for good press and masks a lot of problems. The world is becoming more totalitarian. My way or the highway. If you speak up we will just arrest you and lock you away until this blows over. Democracies have been blindsided and duped. It wasn’t so long ago the world was trying to enable China to become part of the world. Now they want to run it.
There is a lot going on. You can just ignore it or be part of the conversation. The current topic of Critical Race Theory is an interesting one. Born about 40 years ago it seeks to tie the founding of the US with inbred racism. The government, courts and state law were to serve one purpose. That was to further the wealth and domination of whites.
In a purely intellectual sense the theory could be plausible. But to label us all racist is absurd. Herein lies the subtlety. I can get my knickers in a knot and it might be justified. Or I can sit down and discuss it in some sort of rational atmosphere. Not screaming or yelling but hopefully intelligent people trading ideas. There are pros and cons. You just have to look for them. Neither side is very good at that.
It might be naive but I think it is possible to have conversations on a myriad of topics. It would take lot of give and take on all sides. It might take a week or two or perhaps a year or a decade to get to the bottom. Have you got the time? More importantly, do you have the desire to get involved in this whacky world of change? Tough question.
Ted The Great
- The Greatest Generation (born 1901–1927)
- The Silent Generation (born 1928–1945)
- Baby Boomers (born 1946–1964)
- Generation X (born 1965–1980)
- Millennials (born 1981–1995)
- Generation Z (born 1996–2010)
- Generation Alpha (born 2011–2025)
Go to pewresearch.org and look under the topics they delve into. Fascinating or overwhelming? You decide. PS Click on the full list.