So, two things on my radar this week that happen to do with our country, the good ole U.S.of A. The first is a podcast recommendation. (Big surprise, am I right?). It Could Happen Here is the name of my latest podcast obsession. Here’s a link to their webpage to learn a little more about it and you can find it wherever you get your podcasts. I get mine from Apple podcasts but it’s also on I heart. Anyway, the basic premise is how the United States could easily have another civil war if we do not take drastic measures. It’s fascinating and frightening. This is not something you want to binge. Listen to an episode and then listen to something funny or lighthearted. Otherwise, you’ll want to go home and slit your wrists. It’s heavy stuff. The narrator/author actually addresses this fact and says something to the effect of he didn’t put this information out there to make anyone depressed or hopeless but to make people aware of some hard facts and truths and if we are aware maybe we can change. Seriously, no matter what your political leanings or even if you aren’t political, it’s worth listening to the preview or the first episode.
The next thing hitting my radar is a special six part special edition documentary on ABC called 1969. Each of the six episodes addresses a major news making event that happened, are you ready for this, 50 years ago in 1969. The first episode is about the Moon landing in July 1969. This is the episode that got me hooked. I love anything to do with space. I was that kid that would set their alarm clock to 4:30 a.m. so I could watch shuttle launches. I’ve always been fascinated by space travel. The other five episodes are good as well and range in topic from Woodstock to the Vietnam War. Watch them all or cherry pick and just watch a few but they are definitely worth a look.
The weird thing is, after watching this six part series, I was truly astounded by how little things have changed. I’m sure the writers of 1969 spun the series that way. I was born but not yesterday. I have no delusions that that’s not exactly what the writers had in mind. But, it is startling. Your initial gut reaction says, of course, a lot has changed – we’ve gone to the moon, there are real tangible equal rights laws on the books, the list goes on and on. All of that is true but then again there has been a rash of murders of black transgender women, many Southern states are trying to overturn Roe v. Wade and there’s some wackadoodle DA that says he won’t enforce domestic violence laws for gay couples because he does not personally recognize gay marriage. In 1969, we had an unpopular war that many believe we didn’t have any business fighting. In 2019, we are still in the Middle East fighting God knows who but by God we’re fighting. In 1969, various minority groups (Blacks, Women, Gays) were fighting for equality. In 2019, most of those groups are still fighting to be heard in some form or fashion only now we can add Latinos to the list. Immigration is a huge deal. It was in 1969 too. Only back then it was refugees from Vietnam, many of whom were treated poorly just because of their country of origin. In 1969, we had a space race and Woodstock kept losing its permits to put on an epic show. In 2019, we have Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk taking over space innovation and Woodstock 50 just lost its permit and its future looks bleak. In 1969, we had a President that had the nickname, Tricky Dick and eventually got impeached. In 2019, well, I’m not going to go there.
When you take all these similarities into account, it looks like we haven’t evolved at all. And, that’s the kick in the ass. Fifty years and what do we have to show for it? What the hell happened? Did we get so jaded and disenfranchised back then that everyone just threw up their hands and we’ve been phoning it in for the past 50 years? I don’t mind telling anyone who will stand still long enough it makes me sad and worried when I see how things are shaking out. I worry for our country as a whole and for my kids future and their generation’s future. My only hope is if the shit hits the fan I’ll be young enough to march in the streets or I’ll be too old and die quick.
Photo credit: I love free photos on the internet.