Tuesday, March 12, 2013

History and the Past

We are all taught in history that we must learn from the past so that we do not repeat history's mistakes, but people are also taught to adhere to tradition and the teaching of elders. Often, tradition is built upon mistakes that are then magnified and compounded to a point of no recognition and no return. Then we have groups who want to kill one another because of a 1000 year old transgression no one can remember. 

How does one differentiate from mistakes and tradition? From Legacy and Fantasy? Where is the way forward in a world of tradition kindled thousands of years ago? 

Do not misunderstand, I love studying history and learning the past. I spent a good chunk of this very afternoon reading more about the history of San Francisco, which is fascinating and colorful with a healthy dose of pain and misery to temper the nostalgia.

We, in North America, all watched M*A*S*H while growing up. The Korean War was in our collective living room for almost four times as long as the actual original conflict, but in a weird twist, the conflict outlived even the television show, and North Korea has a young buck in charge who wishes to make his mark upon the world stage. He is staging tests and war games and rattling his sabres, and our stupid powers that be are responding in kind as they do to any troll on the internet. It makes the sense of fear rise among the populace. Forget fearing fear, that is an old, tired adage best left in the dusty catacombs of history.

But. Well, But, Well, Really, this is the point. Old Speeches mean naught. The old guard was weak and miserable, but the new guard has it all figured out, and more the better for our citizens. But, yet and still, this is a different time.

The first Korean War included the Canadians, Chinese, Russians, Australians, and more, but now.. ... . . . . ?

The Middle East is a kettle waiting to explode. There are little explosions every day, but there is a world stage watching every move already. Oil and fire and grease and butter and kindling and timber and news are a great fire indeed. And the war mongering, and the fear mongering of all our countries is perverse. Can we stop it?

What do we do if we cannot? Do we fight? Against whom? For how long? Toward what end? I cringe to know, but I do fear that World War III is nigh, and we are the tiny piglets who will be asked to go forth to die, and I am not afraid of dying. . . .  But I do not want to die for some snot nosed Power only looking for profit in the killing. 

But that is the truth, we are run by corporations and public interest groups. Oh the name is so perverse, 'Public Interest Groups' because really they are not interested in the public interest. They are only interested in their own interest, and they have so much money to throw around, but they do not throw at the people who need it, oh no!
It is only thrown at the politicians who get paid too much already anyway. 

This World War will be much messier and far more over arching consequences involving many more countries and regions  than any before, and the enemy will be nothing like before, and the world will really change as a result of this war, and i am not certain it will be for the better. 

And finally, I believe in Gun Control but I want to own Guns. That's the point too. Authorities are taking guns away from people who are documented as crazy or unstable, but they are lettling normal, reasonable people keep their arms.  There used to be a number of hospitals where known difficult people were kept under surveillance. How do you justify locking up an American Citizen? Well, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Most Armericans, indeed, most humans, are fine to leave alone to their own devices with their own lives, but there are a few who go a little wrong. We want to try to help, but sometimes wrong is wrong. 

Which is something else we've learned from history. Some decisions are alright to be left alone, and some must be scrutinized further. Nothing is simple, but life does go on.