December 24, 2011

Living in Interesting Times: Why our grandchildren are gonna hate us

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Jane Stillwater @ 4:25 pm

I just started work at a part-time telecommute job that involves writing text for various online websites. And since my new gig only pays approximately one-fourth of a penny per word, I’m obviously not in this for the money — but I do enjoy its challenge. The boss sends me a subject to write about knowledgeably and I do it.

Here’s a hot topic to write about: “Why we live in interesting times.” In 500 words or less? I can do that.

We live in interesting times because World War I was a mistake and it killed off millions of people and polluted the air and gave us Stalin and Hitler as a result.

We live in interesting times because after the Great Depression finally made Americans thrifty for a change, we once again began wildly spending money on war, pollution and other useless junk. World War II was another big mistake. From Nanking, Tokyo and Berlin to London, Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima — hundreds of millions more useless dead bodies, hundreds of millions of tons of more polluted air.

Then came the 1950s and the rise of suburbs, the Cold War and the corporate hit-man. More death abroad and more pollution at home. More interesting times.

Have I reached my 500-word requirement yet?

We live in interesting times because the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the various recent Middle East wars — Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. — have brought us even more senseless death and irreversible air pollution. And now the Pentagon, Congress and the White House have started beating their war drums against Iran, Syria and China. World War III? Seriously?

We live in interesting times because now we are going to have to explain to our grandchildren how we willingly squandered their patrimony on a century of brutal destruction, death, repression, and planet-wide pollution — when we could have been building an earthly paradise for them to inherit instead.

We live in interesting times because we are handing off to our grandchildren the mere shell of a planet that used to be rich in resources beyond anyone’s wildest dreams and a sentient world that is apparently facing extinction

And we also live in interesting times because, even as we speak, the military-industrial complex that now owns our government is still happily destroying what is left of our grandchildren’s patrimony while even more happily entertaining itself with fond dreams of more and more violent death and rank pollution to come.

But I’ve clearly written more than 500 words on this subject. Sorry about that.

PS: Here’s a photo from one of my granddaughter Mena’s several recent “Movable Feast” birthday parties. Mena is four years old already — and doesn’t hate me so far!



  1. Ms. Stillwater,

    On some other day, I’ll take the proposition that WWI was absolutely necessary, at least once the German Army invaded Belgium.

    And I will stand anywhere anytime for the proposition that WWII was vital to humanity and a blessing to the world, allbeit a horribly expensive one. Anyone who suffered in any way, from the military services, to victims of war, or victims of atrocities or death camps has paid a price the rest of us had no right to ask. We can only approach in humble gratitude with thanks that are far too little in compensation.

    For tonight, Christmas Eve, I’ll say to grandchildren everywhere, that I have done right as God has given me light to see the right. If/when I’ve failed it’s because of short-sightedness or ignorance rather than malice.

    Comment by db — December 24, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

  2. Jane, it’s possible WWI could have been avoided and, militarily, it was one of the stupidest wars ever fought.

    But WWII, with Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese Empire intent on subjugating large parts of the world, and exterminating those they didn’t like in the process — I just don’t see how that could have been avoided. If the U.S. has stayed isolationist and let England fall, we would have been next, the plans having already been drawn up by Hitler’s generals for such a conquest. I hate war but, at that time and in that historical context, there really wasn’t any other option.

    Anyway, I hope you and your family had a great holiday season and best wishes for the new year.

    Comment by RS Janes — December 26, 2011 @ 8:02 pm

  3. For tonight, Christmas Eve, I’ll say to grandchildren everywhere, that I have done right as God has given me light to see the right. If/when I’ve failed it’s because of short-sightedness or ignorance rather than malice.

    Comment by alljjazz — December 28, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

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