July Fourth, 2018: Retroblasting The Eighties.
It’s July 4th, and I typically state that I’m not all that good at the idea of patriotism. It think that’s basically true, in that I enjoy my freedoms, and the power to vote, but don’t really take an “America right or wrong” sort of view. In fact, in the past year or so, I worry that as a nation, we might have been wrong more than we have been right.
I don’t often get political on the blog, outside of how politics intersects with teaching and education in general. It is the Fourth of July, so for a moment or two, I’m going to be a bit political.
Yesterday, on the Third, a Republican led Senate panel backed up the idea that Putin and Russian Oligarchs influenced the 2016 presidential election. That’s a Big Deal. Voting is pretty central to the system, and the idea of a foreign power influencing the election of the highest office in the land….that’s Very Bad. This is Old News in terms of the actual findings of the Intelligence community…but if you remember, the House of Representatives basically said that they didn’t agree. The Senate’s bipartisan agreement that there was some sort of foreign influence shows a major turnaround in thought at the high levels.
With that said, I find myself experiencing eighties era problems once again. Russia is once again a major threat to our way of life. Nuclear War is something that we are constantly conscious of, and nuclear capacity is once again in the hands of unstable tyrants. Nuclear tests, and catastrophic accidents are happening. The President of the United States is under investigation for overstepping the limits of his authority.
It’s a scary time.
In college, I read a book for a Political Science class called “Amusing Ourselves To Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.” The author, Neil Postman, was pretty insightful. I still have the book, and am often reminded of this quote:
“Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, the exchange images. They do not argue with propositions, they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials.”
It’s a strong quote, and very much on point with our times.
As I thought about July Fourth, this is the stuff that was foremost in my mind. It took ages to draw the art for today, but I rather like the finished product.
As relates to all of the problems in the world, I have only this advice. Be Excellent to each other, True Believers.