It’s oft repeated and likely untrue that there’s an old Chinese “curse”- “may you live in interesting times.”
The years between 2000 and 2010- while certainly interesting- have also been largely a dazzling mosaic of suck. Wars, unrest, September 11th, global economic meltdown after meltdown, the Bush years- people are fond of reflecting upon when things might “get better.” So much so that the current American president was largely elected on the nebulous concept of hope- hope that Americans might feel safe again, jobs would return and foreclosures would slow down, endless wars might draw to a close… It’s difficult to quantify what changes any individual has endured over the past ten years. But what if your entire frame of reference was only those ten years?
Imagine not recalling what it was like when a single act of fellatio could grind government processes to a halt for months. To live in such a time of peace and prosperity that a semen stained dress was deemed worthy of congressional inquiry rather than the question of sending tens of thousands of soldiers into harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan. Indeed, reading a book jacket synapsis last night, I realized that concepts like “Homeland Security” are not all that new anymore, that we’ve lived with the specter of domestic terrorism for nearly ten years now.
Below is a video of a reporter asking some questions about the world of a few nine-year-old fourth graders. Interesting especially is their pithy, matter of fact recounting of the events of September 11th, held up against their current mortal fears. (Bloody Mary, bigfoot, the Jersey Devil.) But they’re already showing signs of rational reasoning of the same fears- my mom says Bloody Mary is just a drink!