Wake Me Up When We Get To The 21st Century ?
Sometimes it seems like a bad dream.
thought all of this silliness had been settled long ago, didn’t you ? That we
understood it isn’t okay for robber barons to feast in castles while
the poor and homeless go hungry on the streets and that gross inequalities
of wealth and opportunity cripple a society rather than improve it.
thought we knew that affordable, universal healthcare is unarguably
right in any sane society and that a strong welfare safety-net is a non-negotiable
necessity because the success of a society is rightly judged by how
well it treats its weakest and poorest.
I thought bitter and bloody recent experience had taught us that diplomacy and co-operation, rather than military might, must always be the preferred solution to international problems, and that aggressive actions towards other nations will inevitably result in resistance and retaliation.
thought we understood that it isn’t okay for people
with odd religious beliefs, however strongly felt, to have the power to
restrict the choices or control the lives of others who don’t share
their faith and that, while people can believe what they choose, you don’t
teach kids mumbo-jumbo and pseudo-science in school and pass it off as
I thought we were fully aware that the choices consenting adults make regarding their sexuality
have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with anyone else and that people have a right to privacy, safety, and respect from those they employ to run and police the country for them.
I thought we realized that society exists, and must be run, for
the benefit of all and not just a privileged few and that equality of opportunity and human rights, regardless of race, gender, or religion, is not up for debate any more.
And there’s a whole lot more like that I thought was understood a long time ago. Stuff where the right answer is so blindingly obvious that there was nothing left to say but here I am, still seeing crazy arguments about these things in the media and hearing weaselly, self-serving, right-wing politicians say unbelievably stupid things about them and reading ‘news’ that’s more like bad satire.
It’s like I’m living in some weird, time-warp past where basic concepts of civilized living have yet to be understood and acknowledged. It’s not like a real world of grown-up, rational, 21st century people at all. The backward-looking nonsense spouted by some supposedly educated politicians is truly mind-boggling. It’s a bizarre place where even Alice in Wonderland would roll her eyes in disbelief.
Perhaps it really is just a bad dream ? Maybe I’ll wake up soon and everything will be okay and all this silliness will be gone ? Let’s hope so. If not, do you think you could wake me up when we finally get to the 21st century ? Thank you.