Friday, April 19, 2013

The curse of interesting times

"May you live in interesting times."

The Chinese curse.

Frankly, I've had enough of it.

I grew up in the 1950's.

Those were wonderfully boring times.
We were called "the silent generation."

There wasn't much to talk about.

Louis St. Laurent was Canada's Prime Minister.

"Uncle Louis" gave us peace, order, and good government,
without excitement, and without upsetting the Americans.

He built highways.

Canadians were feeling pretty good.

Better times after two decades of poverty, joblessness, and war.

The future looked bright.

The Americans elected Dwight Eisenhower.

After winning World War II, "Ike" wanted to play golf, which he did.


He built highways.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ruled.

The future looked bright.

People sat on the porch,
waved to strolling neighbours,
relaxed in a backyard hammock.

There were picnics,
and church socials,
and baseball in the park.

There were Sunday drives.

There was a calm over the land.

Then the 1960's broke out, and things got noisy.

Fifty years later, threats, attacks, explosions, gunfire, gangs,
someone with a cause, a grievance, a grudge.

Always some idiot somewhere, making trouble.

Mindless violence and deliberate violence.

Now bombs at the Boston Marathon.

What the hell?

Interesting times? No thanks.


  1. I think that because of all this technology we're also more aware of what's going on in places around the world that we were not in tune with in the earlier periods. It's hard to be oblivious anymore to the ugliness around the world when we're bombarded with news of it 24/7.

  2. Well Doug, I seem to recall being afraid in the 1950s. My earliest school days were filled with atomic bomb drills and air raid sirens. There was a minister arrested for child pornography in my town and it was whispered about but would never have appeared in the paper in those days. Another price we pay in the wireless age I guess, everything is out there.