This idea came up some time ago in a conversation with my brother. Thought I would share it.
He is a few years younger than me, but we are both old enough to remember the eighties very well. Keep in mind that the eighties came after the last period of true societal revolt (even if large aspects of that revolt were co-opted and manipulated.)
Question that arose was – Where are the true thinkers now, the serious ones huddled in bedsits with a two-bar heater, figuring out where we go from here?
”Do you remember how often we saw the blinding flash of a Nuclear bomb on our TV screens when we were young?” he asked. (Yep). ”And how many TV programs were about Nuclear winters and how to survive them?” (Yep.) ”Remember how much annihilation was talked about in the news, in school, how life appeared to be truly dangerous, how we were told regularly that anything could happen..mostly a Nuclear Holocaust?” (Yep.)
Side Note ~ In my early teenage years I constantly wrote poems about Nuclear Armageddon. My husband remembers his parents sitting him down for ”the talk”. No, not about the birds and the bees, but about how the world might suddenly end. My husband’s father was a senior government employee, and in the 80s would be regularly taken on drills to ”Nuclear Bomb Shelters”. He told his son that he was sorry, but he would not be able to take the family with him in the event of something bad happening.
My brother continued. ”As a result of those images scaring the crap out of us continuously, we were hypnotised. A huge imprint was made on our generations psyches.”
”We were traumatised, you mean?” i said.
”Not just traumatised. We were neutralised.”
”It’s a good word,” I said. ”Neutralised.”
”And because we were neutralised we became hedonists. Looking for whatever pleasure and security we could find. We were put through such a mental trauma – Armageddon happened over and over in our minds – and so we told those in charge – ”Fcuk Yiz, now we are going to party!”
”Armageddon already happened – inside our heads. We just didn’t notice it.”
”Now,” he said, ”They can come at us with Global Warming, Economic Collapses, Cataclysms, Viruses, Global War, and we glaze over and go back to our entertainments. We are like Pavlov’s dogs, exhausted.”
”Is there a way to combat that neutralisation?” I wondered.
”No one person or idea is going to come along and fix it, as the Imprint is too deep. The generations after ours are stupified, they have no grit. When a body is this sick, what it needs is a powerful Anti-Dote.”
We did not get into what the Antidote will be. Yet. I’ll let you know when we figure it out.
I said, ”It’s a pity.” He said, ‘You gave me my first Leonard Cohen album when I was a kid, remember? You know what Leonard says about the crack that lets in the Light. Well, there’s a crack in everything.”