Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rubber Soul Wanted, Must Be News Repellent

It would be so nice to just stop processing what's going on in the world. You know that waterproofing spray for new shoes? What bliss to spritz my mind and soul so all the rotten news and prophecies of doom simply would not absorb. They could just bead up and roll away into a gutter.

Earthquakes, floods, nuclear malfunction, tsunamis, wars, dwindling resources, poverty and even poverty coexisting with obesity: nothing but awful, depressing, senseless. ("Light" news isn't much better: It's depressing to see with what fervor Americans apparently care about Dancing with the Stars or K-Fed's babies.)

I have conversed with people who anticipate the grimmest possible futures becoming reality within a generation or two. But I can't recall talking with anyone who's genuinely optimistic about the world. Is there anybody out there who sees scenarios of actual goodness for humanity on the horizon?

Again, I ask myself, *why* do we still want to procreate? Why plant kids in a world that seems so ugly, when they'll suffer and will have to untangle so many messes that were created before they arrived? I guess it is nice to have cute, cuddly little offspring that does funny things to make us laugh - y'know, cheer us up. On the other hand, we could just get pets for that. But then again, we wouldn't get to play with the Easy-Bake Oven, visit Chuck E. Cheese's or watch Disney movies again. (It just looks less weird if you have a kid as an excuse to re-live the nostaliga.)

Perhaps the answer to the question, why have children now, in this world, is: why not? Even if the doom and gloom scenarios come true in a big way, we might as well fill the time while we're waiting for the end of the world. It's like knowing your guest will leave by plane or train shortly. The visit's over. Why just awakwardly wait around, checking our watches, absentmindedly eyeing the departure gate.
And maybe our little time killers (passing the time until doomsday and death) will turn out to be smart - smarter than us. Maybe they'll be better, wiser, will figure out ways to still people's needs, to improve the world. Children are the future; man, Whitney Houston was spot on.

By the way, if you hear any hard news - like that the end of the world is coming soon - then I would really like to know. (Because at that moment, I'm going to start eating a lot of ice cream.)

I would love to hear what others do. Do you think the gloom and doom is nonsense? Are you optimistic about the future? Do the terrible headlines get to you? How do you deal? If you have kids, how much do you tell them about the news, if anything?

With sincere faux cheer, I wish you good night,
Lady MacBeff


  1. Hi Beth!!

    think of the times before any of the World Wars (I and II), or during for that matter. Or any major upheaval that the world has seen. We are optimistic as humans and if the kids (or pets) make us laugh or they infect us with the sillies, go with it and enjoy.

    Love reading your blogs!! You are a great writer and I love your humor. That we have humor, gives us optimism!!! Keep it up!

  2. Years ago, I read something about the resources used by a person in the First World versus the resources used by a person in the Third World and was appalled by how much we FW'ers waste. And I thought, "That would be a reason not to have kids: don't raise FW kids who waste things so much." But a friend of mine said that that was nonsense: FW folks who are aware of the problems are going to raise kids who are also aware of the problems, and maybe those kids will change things.

  3. I know I am guilty of being one of those spreading the blacker-than-coal-dust apocalyptical moods sometimes, even though I am a born optimist. Go figure. What I wonder is whether there is a relationship between awful weather and apocalyptic ideas. No, seriously: try harboring "today is the end of the world" thoughts when the sky is vividly blue, birds are singing and trees are in full bloom. You can't, can you? Come spring, come hope... which should make for a visible rise in birth rates Nov-Jan compared to Jun-Sept. ;-))
    Keep up the good blog work.