“War, war is stupid…” — Boy George & Culture Club (The War Song, 1983)
I was glued to CNN this week. I haven’t had the news on this compulsively since key events throughout 2020 and January 6, 2021.
I flashback to a memory of elementary aged me, being terrified after watching ABC’s movie of the week, “The Day After” – which dramatized the aftermath of a Soviet Union nuclear attack on the United States.
I flashback to a memory of college aged me, being terrified and glued to CNN in the Student Center watching the coverage of the first Gulf War, and this episode of A Different World.
I flashback to the early 1990’s…Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Bosnia. Somalia. Rwanda… The 2000’s… a new century, with more of the same in Sudan. Syria. Iraq. Afghanistan. Palestine. Myanmar. Language subtitles changing, but scenes remaining the same… people dying or fleeing their homes for parts unknown, some being welcomed, others not quite as fortunate. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Everything has felt surreal to me since November 2016, but if a global pandemic wasn’t enough (check), following the playbook from 100 years ago, we are on track for another world war (if not a US Civil War part deux), followed by a cultural renaissance and economic Depression.
Some of these origins and politics of these conflicts have complicated origin stories, but on a basic level, most seem to boil down to land grabs, greed, bigotry, raid on natural resources, misinterpretation of religion, revenge, power. Regardless of the reason, people (civilians and those commanded or persuaded to fight) always suffer in the end.
This keeps happening because we keep refusing to learn the lessons that history and the universe try to teach us. And elementary aged children continue to be terrified, decade to decade by a world that cannot maintain their safety.
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