ON THE UPCOMING 50th ANNIVERSARY OF EARTH DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

Trump is an awful man. I can’t seem to find something positive to say about him and for me, that’s unusual. I can always empathize, even with very bad people (not including one ex-husband). But not Trump. For him, I can’t find a teardrop of compassion. He has no soul or conscience. He is a greedy, empty-headed abuser, liar, and racist.

Somehow, America made him president. At least a portion of voting Americans had a hand in his election as well as a lot of Russian bots. I would like to believe that not everyone knew what a complete disaster he’d be. We certainly didn’t expect the next plague, but others did. Our president fired the ones who tried to warn him this was coming and for all he knew, was already here. So here we are.

Plague spares no one. Wealth won’t protect you nor religion or politics. Prince Charles is ill but his 93-year-old mother is not. Boris Johnson was moved into the hospital today. My generation who have been dying for a while are now dying faster and more furiously. A lot of younger people are dying too. Plague is about as non-denominational as anything gets.

Many of us (sadly, including me) assumed that should Trump be elected (I had that awful feeling he would be elected), the weight of his office would force him to become a president. This didn’t happen, proving you get exactly what you vote for. It’s like marrying an abusive guy because you’re sure you are the one who will (finally) reform him.

Moral? If you elect a bad guy, making him president won’t improve him.

Previously, people (mostly) changed when they were elected to high office. Trump, on the other hand, is an ignoramus and proud of it, With an election getting close while all of us are locked down, my party — Democrats — haven’t completed their primaries or had a convention. There may not be a live convention. Exactly how we are going to choose a candidate is a bit whimsical.

A few folks wonder what there will be to govern if we won. This is one of the times when winning might not be in our best interests. We are going to be in a hot mess when the virus runs its course, which might take a lot longer than even our worst-case scenario suggests.

We can’t blame the plague entirely on Trump, but we can put a big luminescent sticker on his ghastly ass regarding the amount of damage it’s doing. His unwillingness to cope with the alarming predictions as well as his lack of concern what this outbreak would do to us — Americans — is not merely deplorable. It’s … well … breathtaking.

Pogo – Walt Kelly – 1971

It turns out leadership can only be as good as who we elect. Being a constitutional republic, we don’t have the option of voting out a bad prime minister and exchanging him or her for a nominally better one for any reason short of actual treason. We should have gone the Parliamentary route. If I go back in time, I think I’ll mention that to the “Founding Fathers.” I hate that phrase, by the way. Isn’t there something else we could call them? “Founding Fathers” is so … stiff.

Short of rewriting the constitution,  we are stuck. My understanding of history will change us. Change the world. I think in 20 years, we won’t have this same government. All things considered, that might not be such a bad thing.

I wish I could live long enough to see how it comes together. I don’t think either me or Garry has enough decades to see how it turns out. My boomer generation won’t experience a lot of change. We are no longer part of the job market, no longer fighting for our standing in the world. Not climbing the greed and success ladder. We are pretty much done with ambition and were looking forward to some ease and relaxation before moving on.

Anyone who is still in the job market will feel the weight of it assuming the planet lets us continue to live on it. This month’s “National Geographic” magazine marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It lays out the optimistic and pessimistic views of the world to come. The pessimistic view is heartstopping. Makes the blood in your veins freeze. Even the optimistic look isn’t great. I got so demoralized, I couldn’t even look at the graphics.

This plague has blocked everything else. A new world awaits us and I hope it’s a better one. If better isn’t possible, functional might do the job.

Boomers didn’t ruin the world. We tried to improve it, but we didn’t get it done. The human race ganged up on the planet and we all ruined it together. We seem dead set to continue ruining it. Someone will need to fight to save it. Probably you guys, the ones who can’t resist a new iPhone at any price. You will have to give up a few things and do many other things differently.

Walt Kelley’s first Earth Day poster

It is hard but it’s your future. We old folks who you so eagerly blame for everything will be dead. We will return to the stars and the world will be yours. If you don’t fix it, you, your children, and grandchildren won’t have a livable world.

Activism isn’t easy, but maybe it’s time to detach from toys and discover the world. Earth used to be a nice place. It could be again. Good luck.

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe
Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, “The King and I” and “The Catcher in the Rye”
Eisenhower, Vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye
We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu falls, “Rock Around the Clock”
Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland
Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Krushchev
Princess Grace, “Peyton Place”, trouble in the Suez

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac

Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, “Bridge on the River Kwai”

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather, homicide, children of thalidomide
Buddy Holly, “Ben Hur”, space monkey, Mafia
Hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go
U2, Syngman Rhee, payola, and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, “Psycho”, Belgians in the Congo

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Hemingway, Eichmann, “Stranger in a Strange Land”

Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

“Lawrence of Arabia”, British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson
Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex
JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline
Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

“Wheel of Fortune”, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law
Rock and roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
But when we are gone
Will it still burn on, and on, and on, and on

We didn’t start the fire

It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

We didn’t start the fire

It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it …

Songwriters: Billy Joel
We Didn’t Start the Fire lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

18 thoughts on “ON THE UPCOMING 50th ANNIVERSARY OF EARTH DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. Pingback: OH BRAVE WEIRD WORLD – BLOGGING AND THE PANDEMIC – MARILYN ARMSTRONG | Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

  2. This was a very informative post for me and very depressing. As your next door neighbour (Canada) I’m shocked and discouraged. As your friend I’m sad? But sad isn’t the word. Sorry? I guess. But here’s hoping you can work together somehow to, %#!!%#@*!! the A-Whole!
    My hopes and thoughts are with you. How many Americans does it take to change a light bulb? You tell me cause ….💜💕

    Like

  3. One thing’s for sure, our country doesn’t have a chance of recovery as long as Trump continues trumpeting lies and spewing hate from his self-made capitalist throne. It’s a grave new world we’re living in and I pray the young people will have the courage and compassion to make changes for the better. God bless the whole wide world!

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  4. As a boomer myself, I feel the same way as you do. It feels like everything we fought for – conservation, racial equality, LBGQ, etc, etc – was spit upon by the Trump voters. Forty years of trying to do the right thing and setting good examples for our children just all down the drain. The anger has been the thing I don’t understand and it’s like food for his soul.

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    • I don’t think any of us understand it.

      In the beginning, I tried to make sense of it but eventually, I realized it was senseless. A lot of people are angry because the world is changing and they don’t want to change. They want to be the White Masters of a tan world. Most of them were never masters of anything, including their own lives, so they need to hate someone. They have a leader who encourages them to hate which makes them as happy as they have ever been. All these years, they weren’t allowed to freely hate and now it’s FINE.

      Do I understand it? No. Do I want to understand it? No. There are a lot of rotten eggs in our country and we are getting to see just how rotten they really are.

      Like

  5. Pingback: Reblog: ON THE UPCOMING 50th ANNIVERSARY OF EARTH DAY – Marilyn Armstrong – This, That, and The Other

  6. Another thought: Grace is right: “the Dem choices are not inspiring.” But there is a candidate who could knock Trump and the Reps off their horse. Who is the name, face, and voice of real leadership in the COVID-19 pandemic? NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo would take Trump to the woodshed and stand toe-to-toe, eyeball-to-eyeball with the incompetent Liar-in-Chief who surrounds himself with equally incompetent cabinet members who Echo whatever he says. . . until they don’t . I think Cuomo is the one to beat him. Campaign ads would draw the contrast — clippings from Trump’s denial, minimizations, incompetence, misinformation, etc. at odds with Dr. Fauci, and from the daily updates of Cuomo in NY. Just a thought. If the convention goes viral, which it almost certainly will, Cuomo could rise to the top.

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    • I agree, but how to get it done? It seems to me we don’t really have a government anymore. Everyone is home, trying to keep living while the world recovers. In Australia, they are talking about a YEAR in isolation. What’s going to be left? How do we pull ourselves together? If banks retain their eternal right to throw people out of their homes, today’s homeless will look like a boy scout troop having a fun weekend in the woods. The potential tragedies are endless and the fixes are few … and I didn’t see anyone working particularly hard at the fixes before the virus and afterward? It will all be about “repairing” the economy. Everyone will say — as they do with gun violence — this isn’t the time to deal with it.

      Cuomo is a good guy, as was his father (NY’s previous governor) and Chris, his journalist kid. But who’s going to have the energy to turn this thing around? Where’s the money going to come from?

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      • Sheesh! I didn’t think anyone was more pessimistic than you know who; after all these years, I’ve met my match. 😜We’re stuck! We’re sunk! We’re screwed! Stay together. Feed the birds. If you need whatever check I get from the federal gov’t, I’ll gladly sign it over to the Armstrongs. I’m serious!

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  7. Isn’t this an economic repeat of 2008? Republicans trash the economy, Democrat has to clean it up? Okay, the virus is trashing the economy but partially due to the ineptitude of the Republicans, so it follows that a Democrat will have to clean up the mess…And the Dem choices are not inspiring – oh this country is in for an even bigger amount of hurt…

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    • This is much, much, MUCH worse than 2008. That was all about money and bad banks and lay-offs. This goes a lot deeper than that. Just inserting money into the economy isn’t going to be nearly enough. We have been upended. We are crashing hard. And it will be so much worse for even poorer countries.

      For all the dumbos who thought “change” was just what we needed, I hope they are finally happy.

      Like

  8. any leader would be better than the orange cheeto guy! he’s a jerky asshole! Sorry but I have no time for his ignorance and he thinks he’s above everyone, he doesnt care about america or americans. If he gets elected again I’ll be stunned!

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    • Who gets elected will have a lot to do with who feels safe enough to go to the polls. Which by itself is terrifying because the deniers and stupid-heads think they are immune. THEY will go. As for the rest of us?

      On one level, it might be better to leave the cleanup to the ones who made the dirt. On the other, we know already they won’t clean it up, no matter how bad it is. There’s no winning strategy coming out of this.

      Liked by 1 person

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