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General Interest

YOU HAVE TO WONDER

The internet is full of information; good, solid information along with the usual drivel that’s always circulated through any information medium. Like with anything else, it’s not so hard to separate the factual from the ridiculous. It’s pretty amazing and something no one could have predicted a scant 20 years ago. Look at all the medical information previously unavailable to the lay person. When a family member gets sick, or oneself, many a web surfer investigates countless medical websites, learns all they can about telltale signs, actual symptoms, treatment, alternate treatments and the like and soon they fancy themselves doctors. Must drive real physicians nuts. So you have to wonder, with all this information about everything under the sun available to all of us at our fingertips, are there people out there reading engineering websites and trying to build suspension bridges and skyscrapers in their backyards?

You have to wonder about a lot of things these days. It is the Information Age, after all, and you’d sort of be out of step not to. That would be like living in the Iron Age and still using a flint axe, or living in L.A. and not writing a screenplay. It just isn’t done. So you vacuum in all this information, trying mightily to make sense out of it all, and much to your consternation, the meaning of life is still elusive and the realization hits that you really don’t give a rat’s ass about black holes or the personal lives and opinions of internet billionaires too young to remember Johnny Carson. 

You have to wonder why some of these dot com nerds feel they have to weigh in on anything other than the narrow specialty that made them wealthy beyond anybody’s dreams. They’re super wealthy, and so can always find some shallow newscaster or another to interview their personality-free asses. They are not experts on the economy, politics, the environment, government or space travel. They are not even remotely entertaining or interesting, with probably not ten good jokes or amusing anecdotes among the lot of them. Damned few of them would ever admit that but for the twin strokes of luck and timing that made them so wealthy they would be a pen-caddy wearing, taped-up horn rimmed eyeglasses-wearing, girlfriend-challenged tech support geek and some other nerd would have their oceanside palace and model wife. So you have to wonder why anyone would take anything unrelated to the internet that these tedious dorks say seriously.

Yes, these days are filled with awe and wonder. You have to wonder what the hell happened to the serious and careful chubby baldheads that used to run the world’s investment houses, banks and insurance companies. And you have to further wonder when conservatives became rabid ideologues with an agenda of greed and world-domination having little to do with domestic peace, tranquility and prosperity. You wonder why these neo-cons see those who disagree with their world view as evil and dangerous enemies of the state, and of motherhood, babies, God and baseball too. You further wonder what happened to the institutions that used to nurse these people back to mental health, releasing them back to the arms of their loved ones once they calmed down.

And you have to wonder about people calling these times the most harrowing in history for America. That would sort of downplay the Civil War, Wounded Knee, two World Wars, Suffrage, the Great Depression, the Labor Wars, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement, race riots, Kent State and the many world-changing assassinations. Those things were fairly traumatic too, and there were lots of other disasters, tragedies and dramatically unsettling changes to befall this nation. Somehow we’re still kicking, even after eight years of our worst president ever and all the disastrous mistakes he made.

America and Americans are pretty resilient. So you have to wonder just how smart Barack Obama has to be to get us out of this fix and get America back on the road to becoming America, and how much each of us is willing to do to help. You wonder if we will step up and take our place beside those who came before us when hard times struck our nation, those who worked together instead of against one another, those who picked our nation up when she fell, who improved America after each challenge. You have to wonder.

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