Sad to say, as the calendar turns once again, Old Man Time has Baby New Years by the balls. The downright awful year of 2001 sets the stage for more bad ideas and perhaps worse behavior in a year that, numerically speaking, turns in on itself. If 2002 ends as it is beginning we will be left to wonder just what the phrase makers meant when they came up with the old saw,"march of civilization". If you happen to be sitting in proximity to the borders of India and Pakistan; in a freezing, bombed out hovel in Afghanistan or Iraq; or amidst the hungry slums of Argentina, Nicaragua or Haiti, you might not be faulted for believing that our so-called civilization is marching right off the map. Ecologically speaking, it truly is.
Too much doom and gloom? We think not. All the idle half-full glasses on the planet aren't enough to put out the fires of war emanating from the seats of power and trickling down to your average myopic belligerent patriot on the street. Even in a place like the U.S. where promise is alleged to lurk in the vicinity of each gold-paved boulevard, we have experienced one of the most ominous years in our history. Beginning with the questionable presence and motivations of the present occupant in the White House and his minions; the increased corporate infiltration of government; the on-going meltdown of an economy suffering from serious design flaws, to the post-9-11 trashing of the U.S. Constitution and international law, we are witness to some of the worst dark-side degeneration since the Middle Ages. The term"crusade"didn't simply resurface by accident. Some scary shit is going down and you and yours have a ringside seat.
If ever there was a time we needed a miracle it is now. Casual talk of nuclear war, rising theocracy, denial of civil rights, ecological collapse, greed, and a pervasive worldwide upsurge in intolerance and aggression has all of us staring entropy in the face. Can we actually stop or reverse this end game onslaught? Sure. All we need is a miracle and the concerted efforts of our family, friends and neighbors. If we learn anything from the past few decades (or from history in general), it is that apathy and self-absorption are the handmaidens of disaster. But the operable phrase is"concerted efforts". Was it Dante who said the hottest places in hell are reserved for the indifferent? Let's turn 2002 in on itself differently, by beginning with a commitment that goes far beyond our own selves. How about seven generations into the future for starters.
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