The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Interesting Times

We certainly live in interesting times and one can only hope, for the sake of our children and grandchildren, that they become a wee bit less interesting in the future. Although, I have to admit, a part of me is pleased that I was born into the world in these times. I can't help but feel somewhat privileged to be able to live in and observe our world as it undergoes such radical change. It certainly doesn't frighten me, simply because I'm a Christian and have unshakeable faith that the Lord of heaven and earth will bring all things to good. It's the when and how of His Providence that remain a mystery.

Sometimes, however, I think our society at large isolates itself from all that has made these times so interesting. It seems intentionally to distract itself from reality by ignoring the most disruptive events and movement in the world, preferring instead to assume that all must be well so long as "American Idol", "Dancing With the Stars", and "The Amazing Race" continue to be produced and aired weekly. Glued to their TV screens and iPads, they seemingly are unaware of the increasing radicalization of the Islamic world, a movement that could have catastrophic consequences. Arab Spring may well turn quickly into an Islamist Winter. They seem not to understand the severity of the economic problems facing Europe and the US, believing instead that all will be happily resolved and the US Treasury will continue to spit out its never-ending stream of government checks. And they clearly do not realize that the continued moral collapse of Western Civilization will surely bring about a general worldwide collapse. The death of Faith will lead to the decline and ultimate destruction of the culture, which will lead to the end of the civilization. What will then happen to the people?

Of course everyone's not completely blind, although some of those who apparently realize all is not well with the world, are remarkably ignorant as to the causes. For example, the current "occupiers" of Wall Street are perhaps the most clueless bunch of purposeless protestors in the nation's history. They say -- well, some of them say; others have gathered for sex, drugs and fun -- they're there to protest the greed of Wall Street. Good heavens! Greed on Wall Street? Can you imagine that? How interesting that they seem to believe greed exists only in lower Manhattan. What about greed on Main Street? Or greed in the White House or the halls of Congress? Or greed in the university's faculty lounge? Or greed in professional sports, or among artists and entertainers, or even in the college dorm room? I'm afraid greed is a permanent part of the human condition, and will no doubt continue to afflict us right up to the Second Coming. And trust me, no amount of government regulation can overcome human nature.

Indeed, greed has even manifested itself right there among the protestors. After all, one of their key demands is the forgiveness of all their college loans. Sounds a little greedy to me, especially when they're asking folks like me to cover these loans of theirs through my taxes. I seem to recall already paying off my own children's loans some years ago. Now they want me to pay off theirs as well? But, we're told, look at the unemployment rate -- over nine percent. These well educated young people can't get good jobs. The truth is, the unemployment rate for those with college degrees is less than 5%, about where it falls even in good times. It's just that today the new hire might actually have to start at the bottom and work his or her way up.

They're an interesting collection of protestors. Many are apparently neo-Marxists, calling for the overthrow of the free market system, that same economic system that has given them their smart phones, iPads, and iPods, the Internet, and even the remarkable variety of music they listen to constantly. When Steve Jobs' death was announced, the protestors mourned and grieved in a display of remarkable public irony. Are they so clueless that they don't realize that Mr. Jobs was a gazillionaire thanks to a free market that allowed him to develop, manufacture and sell cheaply those products they can't do without?

More disturbing than mere ignorance, or even gross stupidity, are the comments by some protestors claiming, ala 1930, that it's all the fault of the Jews. As one woman said to the TV camera, "It's the Jews on Wall Street. They should all be sent away..." Where exactly did she have in mind? Another Auschwitz perhaps?

Enough about the protestors. I'm just happy I'm not a NY sanitation worker who will have to clean up after these people when they finally run out of free pizza. That's one of the many differences between the "Occupiers" and the Tea Party folks. The latter always cleaned up after themselves and left their venues pristine. Maybe it's a generational thing...ya think?

Being is still good, especially in interesting times.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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