Week 28 2016 – Turn Off the World, Please

I’d like to get off at the next stop before the world plummets over that proverbial cliff. I suppose history will call it World War III or perhaps simply the Fall of the West.  School children will little remember the minutia, the division inside countries, the politics or religion of it, the bad actors,  or the names of the leaders who fed the crocodile until it finally ate them as well. They won’t know of the terrorist attacks on Paris and Nice and Orlando. They won’t know about police officers being executed on the streets of great American cities. They will only know once there was a country, a beacon of freedom, and somehow it fell and disappeared. The year 2016 may not appear as an answer to some multiple choice question about our demise. It is a slow thing and we will suffer through it, most of us in denial. I believe the Romans did the same until the food stopped coming, until the barbarians were at the gate and there was no where for them to escape.

In time and after great sorrows and tribulations, peace will come again when darkness devours us back into a new dark ages. The school children of this brave new world will not study Rome anymore. Nero and his fiddle will mean nothing to them. They will read about the fall of the United States of America , and how, like when Rome fell, a dark age followed, taking the entire world with it. They will little be able to imagine how advanced we were, how our technology took us to the stars. How in a world of plenty and idleness, we became petty and bitter and destroyed ourselves.

A thousand years will pass, leaving us to the dust bin of history, with a few hundred looking very much like our middle ages. The children who come after the fall will study a different restoration, romantic age, and technology revolution, little guessing that they are retreading already worn paths of history.

Once time circles around once more, when a new and far off generation once more sails the stars and send their signals invisible through the air, they will have learned the lessons we so quickly forgot.  With the help of the survivors of this time of torment, generations will appreciate the one before as they march through rebuilding the world, and those future children will be humble and kind instead of arrogant, entitled, spineless, and lazy. They will build on the ruins of all we made, some of them wondering, who were they? How could they construct such magnificent cities and buildings only to fall? Perhaps, our ghosts will answer them, warn them.

I hope I am wrong, but that will require a miracle. I believe in miracles. I am simply uncertain that this generation deserves one.

 

3 thoughts on “Week 28 2016 – Turn Off the World, Please

  1. Here’s the thing about Barbarians: they weren’t. You know I’ve spent a lot of time studying the history of the period you’re discussing, and here’s another thing: it wasn’t either. Nero’s reign fell CENTURIES before what is popularly called the “fall” of Rome, but even that eventuality has been distorted. (Don’t even get me started on “The Dark Ages” – which, again, were not …)

    Rome wasn’t some shining paragon of goodness, suddenly weakened by Empire (and emperors) and sacked by Barbarians. Indeed, the northerners so often called that were, for the most part, HEAVILY Romanized indeed. See also: empire.

    You know how older folks like to go on about the golden age that was their youth? That period when segregation was in force, lynchings were not at an end, and there wasn’t even a glass ceiling because women were expected to stay home?

    History was written – and Roman history, “Barbarian” history in particular – by the same folks pining for a “better” time. When exposing babies was the way to deal with birth defects, and the legal rights of women were significantly curtailed by comparison with those so-called Barbarians, whose women were very literally worth more than anyone else. (Look up the grades of “wergeld”, what is literally the price of a person, and note that fertile women were valued above children and the elderly, second only to warriors.)

    I don’t mean to say we should not be concerned *now* … but the idea that we’ve invented crisis, or that our crisis is worse than anybody else’s is extremely self-centered. Humanity is no better than we were two thousand years ago, or fifteen-hundred, or in the 19th century – and we are no WORSE, either.

    It is important to care. It is necessary to act, and to watch, and to do more than witness. But pearl-clutching about the Dark Ages when, in fact, the period between 486 and pick-your-“modern”-century was not the basement of human history. Any more than The Enlightenment (or the Roman republic *or* empire) were a pinnacle.

    Humanity exists on a continuum, and we haven’t managed to kill ourselves off yet.

    Oh, and … speaking as someone studying the Nika Riots of the early 6th century: I can assure you, there will be those who remember and understand the minutiae. Much of humanity is highly adept at forgetting. But there are always those of us fascinated with study instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hee. 🙂 I would say ranting is one of the things we need to do in times like this. My apologies for ranting back. As you know, the whole “Barbarian” thing is perhaps (a bit too) close to my heart! I do love me a good bootay-kicking Ostrogoth.

    Like

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