It is easy, to look around and wonder why the world is such a shit place. The only time we were ever free of the hate was when we hid in the blissful days of ignorance and childhood. Even then, there were snippets of reality, tower falls in New York, several marines killed by IED, massive bomb goes off in some far off city we don’t give a damn about. Growing up is a slap in the face, and getting old, a kick in the gut. As young adults, we wonder when life was better, as the old, we reminisce of the days way back when jobs were abundant; when life was simple and the romantic image of a battered old truck, a dusty field, a content family gathered around a glowing stove, a trusty neighbor at the fence, persisted in their own reality; where hate was not omnipresent; where the flag stood for freedom and liberty; where turmoil occurred in far off lands; where death was an abstract concept, not a harsh reality.
But we forget. We forget that those jobs were available because environmental regulations didn’t exist; we forget that life was filled with social prejudices, that the battered old truck refused to start on cold mornings, that the dusty field required a day of hard work, that the content family would have to clean out the ashes from under the stove, that the trusty neighbor would come home drunk and angry late at night; we forget that racism and homophobia were rampant; we forget all the atrocities carved into the wall hidden behind the flag; we forget protesters for peace and racial equality fighting police in the streets; we forget the thousands of caskets draped with american flags and the tears each generation shed for their own, personal war.
Reality is damning.