4.23.2007

The World Isn't Getting Any Worse

"I am convinced that the world is not a mere bog in which men and women trample themselves in the mire and die. Something magnificent is taking place here amid the cruelties and tragedies, and the supreme challenge to intelligence is that of making the noblest and best in our curious heritage prevail."
Charles Austin Beard (1874 - 1948)


This is my brief response to the refrain that the world is getting worse. The world has always been a bad and scary place--and a beautiful, awe-inspiring place--full of joy and sorrow, good and evil, however cliche that may be. Because of our marvelous technology, we hear the full scope of bad news as it happens--all over Earth and beyond. It's sad, but it keeps us on our toes, and it gives us opportunities to help. People DO help. I'd never want to go backwards. Toward what--separate water fountains for people of color, no vote for women? And don't get me started on the sweeping viruses and plagues...Granted, we haven't made perfect progress in some areas, but progress is being made.

Ancient Rome
The Aztecs
The Inquisition
Salem Witch Trials
History of Racism in the US
The Good Ol' Days For Women

4 comments:

Rupert said...

but what about cultural literacy? It's certainly on the skids.
Not that I'm an ageist - I'm saying I didn't read Latin like my g'parents - i didn't read as much Dickens, Homer etc as they did.
And now my daughters, out of college, barely know the diff between Keats and Yeats.
I asked Sharon Olds about all that and she danced around it like a mo-fo - then she said her fav TV show is Project Runway!
But I did read A Marvell's Coy Mistress to Java Monkey a few weeks ago and they loved it, couldn't believe it was 1650ish

ads. said...

at least it's all available to everyone...and they're allowed to read it. we're not burning the ones we don't like(and the people with it). people are simply bombarded with too much stuff and don't have time for it all. it's not necessarily bad, just different. keep givin'em a taste.

Tania Rochelle said...

M Ru, I don't bemoan that either. Each age has its own.

I think about this every time I see the stack of old wooden typesetting blocks at school. Who would long for the days when you had to do all that by hand? Lost art though it may be.

Anne-Davnes said...

Oh I don't know. Off topic this might be - and I DO appreciate and am grateful for technology, but there's something to be said for doing the stuff by hand - in that there was some peace to be had when things took longer. You filled the space with thought. Now we're filling space with more stuff to do.

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