Saturday, January 28, 2012

There are stories everywhere

   There are stories everywhere and we mostly hear just one side.  They are told by the survivors.
It is the right of the victor to tell the story but I know there is another side.  I wonder what the Northwest Indians called the Pacific Ocean long before Balboa  and Magellan set sail?  The Polynesians, surrounded by the sea, what did they call it?
   You can pick up a good stories right out of the classifieds or Craigslist.  Why does someone sell their most cherished possessions?  And we have all heard stories about death on the Internet.  Visiting old graveyards will give you names and mystery in spades.  Why is a whole family there together, all dying
at pretty much the same time.  What disease or accident or nefarious circumstance took them down?
I wonder about whole families being taken out in a single blow and who tells their stories?  Stories with no survivors, no victory at all.
   It wasn't until the Twentieth Century that stories of the common man became popular.  History has been told from the rich man's point of view.  Famous people and the white point of view.  It has only been in recent years that we have learned the common stone carrier left his name in secret places, carved into the recesses of the Egyptian Pyramids.  Some of the earliest Graffiti. Even the least amongst us wants to leave their mark. I think that is what art is about.  Painting or writing or sculpting,
it makes no difference.  Big Graffiti, colorful and suitable for framing.  Leaving a mark.
   Kilroy was here.
   In the next two years political novels will become popular.  It is election time again and so much runs in cycles.  Novels from newspaper headlines and embellished with the back story.  Herman Cane, the Pizza Guy?  What the heck were we thinking?  There will be novels there too and books have already been written.  Novels and stories about how divided we have become.  Fences keeping people in or keeping them out.  We draw lines in the sand and reinforce them with steel and are pretty set in our ways.
   I know what Newt wanted when he mentioned a moon base.  The response was a quick put down and the cost probably prohibitive in this lousy economy but I know what he was after.  Some kind of rallying cry, something positive and forward and modern, something that took extraordinary effort that we could all get behind.  We long for the "glory days" and find them so difficult to discover.
   The times are changing, that is for sure and I do wonder if the answers aren't "written on the subway walls" like the song says.  There are six High Schools in my town and it's neighbor city.  They just published their graduation rates from last year.  The best school graduated 82% of its class and the worst 58% of its class.  Literally thousands of students don't complete High School.  There has got to be a story there.  We do not really have trade schools any more and apprenticeships are a thing of the past.  The Army, that great equalizer that it used to be, will no longer accept recruits who have not at least graduated from High School.  We have painted a bleak future for our youth.
   We so much want what we want and want it now.  We don't think anything though.  We don't think about consequences, like we don't even care.  Oil from shale and a simple pipe to get it to us sounds so good, giving us jobs and gasoline and everything we need.  It is the dirties oil in the world and its production will increase our carbon output a thousand fold.  I wonder what that means, really, and do I want to find out?
   If you want to see something interesting, Google the "Aral Sea".  It is in Russia, well it used to be in Russia in the 1960's.  It is no longer there.  The forth largest lake in the world is gone.  Ships floating on the dessert sands.  The rivers that fed it were syphoned off to feed agriculture.  The farmers were happy, agricultural business was happy and the lake is gone. 
   Things happen.  They especially happen when they are not thought through.  There is a story there if the lake could write it or the birds could sing it.

4 comments:

Barbra Joan said...

Nice to see you back Jerry.. and I am here even though....
BJ

Tiffiny said...

Your absolutely right nothing is thought through anymore and the consequences of all these policies that were not thought through are taking their toll. The intro of the wolves to yellowstone is another great example. Biologist told them what would happen if they didn't do it right. Did anyone listen? No. Now we have animals overproducing at incredible rates and killing anything they come in contact with all because they were not introduced in the proper way. So the solution is kill them all. How stupid do we have to be, how many mistakes do we need to make before we start thinking things through.

Your right the stories are everywhere.

CrimsonLeaves said...

Wow, Jer. I have to say that this is one of your most powerful posts to my mind. Something grabbing me about the wonders and dunders of the human condition. There is poignancy and pingponging of thoughts that mirror my own much of the time. If any man could write the story, it is you.

stonepost said...

Thank you so much, my ardent supporters! I am hoping, like any good tale this can be read on several layers.