Benson Show Gentle Rant: ‘How’d Things Ever Get This Crazy?’
The actual lyric is "She wonders how it ever got this crazy". It's a line from an old Eagles song (Lyin' Eyes). Maybe you thought it, too. You look around you and it's hard not to think "this is nuts."
There's also another gleaming platitude: "Those who don't pay attention to history are doomed to repeat it." I think of that a lot, too. The comforting thing about history is having the knowledge that it's been crazy like this plenty of times before in our past. Dirty elections are as old as this earth. It's the other stuff that's scary. Yes, we'll finally get it right eventually but that path is long and difficult. And what's even more troubling is we never seem to learn.
It doesn't matter whether it's the lessons taught in school about respect, or loving your fellow human - lessons taught in Sunday School, or even something as basic as The Golden Rule, it just seems like the system broken down. It's as if all the rules about decent human behavior went away. Between the pandemic and the election, suddenly it's been open season on friends, neighbors, strangers, anyone who doesn't think exactly like we do.
I could tell you what I think are some of the problems, but I'm not sure I'm right, and I'm even more sure I don't want the push back from everyone who thinks I'm wrong.
I'm old enough to remember the turbulent times of the late 1960's and early '70's. Everybody preached peace, love and brotherhood, getting along. Looking back, it's obvious those were nothing but empty words. It simply fooled some of us into thinking that things would get better. But we don't treat each other better. We are more polarized, more angry, more everything than ever before. And coupled with that, is that "I'm smarter than you" attitude that permeates.
Many people talk about the days after 9-11 when for a few short weeks we were all Americans, united. That was another mirage.
The point of all this wasn't to be depressing, even though it sure does sound like it. It's just the end of a long, depressing election season, coupled with a virus that is making a return appearance, maybe even more deadly than the first time.
I hope you can still hug and kiss your loved ones, that you are healthy and at least somewhat prosperous, and that you can enjoy your favorite bevy with friends who you like and who like you back, even if you don't agree on things. (I'm very lucky to be able to say yes to that.).
And Dear God, please save us from ourselves.