EFFERVESCENT INGREDIENTS – Marilyn Armstrong

I should be peppy and lively. I should be able to find the ingredients to get the laundry done, to go take a few pictures. Something.

I’m too beat up to find anything remotely effervescent in me right now. It has been a grueling few months. Not always in a bad way, but still exhausting and the crazy humid heat has not helped. I also suspect that my tolerance for extremes of weather is diminishing with the years because I’m far less energetic now than I was even a few months ago.

The combination of personal crises, national calamities, climate change, and a general sense that everything I worked for and cared about is being undone in such a short time, my head is spinning. The best part of the summer has been our winning baseball team. You know life has gotten awfully rough when you cling to sports as the only positive thing happening in your world.

I sense that I am not alone in feeling this way, either.

I read a piece on Facebook the other day where some Millennial was pointing out that we — the Boomer Generation — should stop blaming them and start accepting responsibility for handing them such a crappy world.

It suddenly crossed my mind that the world into which I was born was not exactly perfection, either. These kids have no idea how it was to grow up in a world where jobs were listed under Male and Female only … and if you weren’t white, there were no jobs listed at all. To live in a world where the only birth control was “not doing it” or a condom — and you couldn’t even buy a condom if you were under 18.

The voting age was 21, but the drinking age was 18. Great combination, wasn’t it?

The rivers and air were horribly polluted. We invented Earth Day, got the Civil Rights Bill passed. Cleaned up the air. You know the air over New York and Los Angeles used to be orange? Not just at sunset but all the time from the massive amounts of pollution. The river which runs through our Valley was one of the most polluted rivers in North America. We cleaned it up, along with the Hudson, Boston Harbor, and many other places.

We didn’t do all this because the earth was a perfect place, but because we saw how bad it was becoming and fought to fix it. I don’t blame Millennials for feeling they got the short end of some stick, but that stick has been pretty damned short for a really long time. Before I was born and for that matter before my mother was born too.

Garry grew up in a Jim Crow world. I grew up in a world where most of the people “like me” had been butchered or gassed to death. I had friends die of putrid abortions performed with a wire hanger. You really don’t need to tell me that we left you an evil world. It wasn’t wonderful when we got it, either.

Pogo – Walt Kelly – 1971

Welcome to the real world. There’s been more than enough evil in the human world for a very long time. Whoever you are, whatever generation you come from, it’s time you stopped whining about whose fault it is or was. 

It doesn’t matter who caused what. Get your act together, put your shoulder to the wheel, and start pushing to make it a better place. The big bad boomer bunch did that. I’m terribly sorry it has come unglued so quickly and I don’t feel really happy watching all the things I worked for fall apart. It is shocking, horrifying, and deeply depressing.  But on the other hand, I didn’t vote for that asshole.

Regardless, I’m too old to go out and fix it. I would if I could, but me and my generation — we’ve done our part. Our effervescence is gone. The ingredients you need to fix this bad old world are yours now.

Get up and do something. Vote. Run for office. Get a decent education. Learn some history.

It doesn’t matter who made it this way. It has been working on becoming this way for hundreds of years and if you don’t get yourselves moving, it will simply get worse and your children will blame it on you.

Except you know what? If you don’t start to work on making it better, your kids’ worlds will be a whole lot worse than yours.

Are you registered to vote? Will you vote?

FOWC with Fandango — Ingredients
RDP #71: EFFERVESCENT

43 thoughts on “EFFERVESCENT INGREDIENTS – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I am part of the silent generation. You are still a young girl. You boomers may have blamed us just as you are getting blamed. We didn’t start the fire either. I always liked Billy Joel. He was probably a boomer. I didn’t vote for Trump either. I am from the part of Southern Appalachia that is in North Georgia. Have no idea what to say my ethnic group is.

    I grew up reading Pogo. I still have a few of the thick comic books they put together. My favorite song is Nora’s freezing on the Trolly.
    Good reading.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Old Guy, I like your style. You’ll do!

      (During my working days, “The Silent Generation” complained we didn’t give them fair coverage. I suggested they say something and not remain silent)

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m pretty sure that fire has been burning as long as humans have roamed the earth.

      It doesn’t help to point fingers, as if you can just slouch in the corner and never do anything to try and make the world better. I’m not sure the world is ever going to be the way we would like it to be, but we can at least TRY. Every generation has to give it a try.

      I find the younger gens frustrating. They complain all the time, but when asked if they would like to join a group that’s trying to “fix” things, they are too busy. Did they vote? Are they even registered? I figure if you aren’t even registered, just shut up about it.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes. The fire has been burning for hundreds of years. If you want a blow by blow account of the fire-starters, read The People’s History of The United States by Howard Zinn or go back to pointing the finger which has been so helpful in the past…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Beyond the finger pointing, late night activists’ political joking and screaming posts — we NEED clear headed and rational people in the political arena, doing the grunt work and making the Midterms a significant blow against Cheeto Head and his minions. the clock is ticking faster.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I had not heard the Cheeto Head label before but it is appropriate. Bright orange and no substance. Clear heads and rational thinking seem to be missing and from this side of the Atlantic what we see is a massive wave of apathy across the nation. Do people seriously believe this election will be free from tampering? What back-up plans are in place? It is long past time for action! The Cheeto Head and cabal have declared war on the global environment and the world is looking to America to clean up its mess!

          Like

    1. Thanks. I tried to respond to this on FB and she got mad at me. I was obviously not doing what she wanted, which was accepting all the blame for the state of the world while she gets to whine about it, but not DO anything. It makes me CRAZY.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m right there with you. Well put and I love the cartoons. I was trying to stay out of the smoke and heat the other day and turned the TV on to Fail Safe, which in the era of the nincompoops is even more frightening! Nice to meet you – over from Fandango.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nice to meet you too. Did you know Dr. Strangelove and Failsafe were made from the same book? Same plot, but different approach. I think that’s the only movie I can think of that has both a dramatic and comedic version of it. I read the book when it came out. It was terrifying THEN … and that was more than 50 years ago.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. JT — it’s hard to stay out of the smoke if you really want the swamp drained. We’ll all entitled to jabber our frustrations loudly but some kind of active involvement is necessary. You’re right about “Fail Safe” which I watched again the other day. It’s required viewing here. JT, welcome aboard our ark.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s probably true. But blaming their parents — or grandparents — is pointless and doesn’t accomplish anything. When did the mess we are in begin? A LONG time ago, long before I was born or my grandparents were on this earth. The answer isn’t to point fingers. The answer — if there IS an answer — is to become part of the solution or at least try. Will the world ever be the way we want it to be? Probably not. I’m sure since civilization began, it has never been. Perfection won’t happen, but we can try to make it not quite SO awful.

      Having generations of younger people who won’t participate is certainly not going to improve anyone’s life, including their own.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That is this generation’s biggest problem. For everything they blame others. They just don’t want to be part of any solution. They expect others to set things right for them. They have got everything on a platter, technology is at their beck and call and the mess should be sorted by the previous generation.
        Well, if they continue like this, their kids will be in a bigger mess.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think that’s probably my biggest fear, that not only are they NOT helping make their OWN world better, but they are helping to make the world in which the next generation lives much worse. None of us were born into a perfect world. I doubt the world was ever perfect, but you have to do your best to fix what’s fixable. When a whole generation refuses to participate, it makes everything so much worse for everyone.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. The recent public demonstrations by young people against school shootings and availability of guns offers hope of active involvement by our youth in the public arena. They need to put down their I-phones, ignore the social tweets and get their hands dirty in the trenches. It’s not glamorous and doesn’t offer immediate solutions but the residual impact –midterms and beyond — could be significant.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for California. I think that’s the kind of thing Massachusetts might try, too. We are the two most liberal states in the country. Unfortunately, there are a lot of others and they don’t seem to care, as long as the NRA pumps money into their electoral coffers.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Actually, it is supposed to be on the Federal level and applicable across the nation but I’ve been out of the Country over a decade so it is best to check. All the best. The NRA, is without a conscience but far from alone on that.

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  3. This is great stuff – all of it. We are of the same generation I think. I could relate to all the things you noted about the times. Change is inevitable, and it may not be to our liking a lot of times, but it is coming regardless. I have never quite figured out how it is that things seem to disintegrate over time, be it society and all it consists of, or politics, etc. It pretty much has happened with every society since the beginning of time. People have accomplished amazing things in this world, but the good doesn’t seem to last. But I think it doesn’t mean we have to disintegrate with it. In every society throughout ancient times to the present, it is not the major rulers or dictators as the case might be who last from century to century; it is the man out in the field who plows the land and eats what comes of it, and the person who weaves wools into clothing or household necessity.

    Like

    1. You’re right, but I suspect this is simply the way of the world. The good and bad comes and goes like ocean tides. We do well, then over time it crumbles and we have to do it again. We don’t seem to remember well the way things were, back whenever they were last terrible. Will that ever change? Will we finally make things “right” and have them stay that way? I tend to think not.

      “Forever” is too long for humanity. We don’t get forever. We can’t trust forever. We need to go back and forth and every other generation needs to relearn the lessons of civility and society.

      Like

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