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Humanity is weird! I really didn't think things could get much worse with our species. You see, I grew up in a time that would boggle the most open and accepting of minds. They called it "The Cold War" even though the people supposedly perpetrating it were, for the most part, a bunch of hot-heads. Case in point—I remember seeing Nikita Khrushchev on our little black & white TV waving his fists in the air while the news translator explained that Niki was exclaiming "We will bury you!" Even though, at my tender age of five (he spilled this quote in 1956...), I was not privy to the "f" word, I can certainly exclaim now—"What the fuck, Niki! What were you thinking?" So that was the start of it. For a five year old who just recently got unceremoniously shifted from his comfortable home in the UK to the wilds of Canada, it was a sobering start.
Next up was the Cuban missile crisis, where good old Niki thought he could set up missiles on Cuban soil to supposedly thwart any attack from the bad old U.S.A. However, the young, heroic new President Kennedy would have nothing to do with it! No friggin' way was he going to allow the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (thank God for acronyms!) to install missiles that close to the Florida Keys! So JFK and Niki got all hot-headed about it and almost started a thermo-nuclear war. So I'm in grade six while all this is going down and suddenly the principal, who everyone was scared shitless of in the best of times, busts into the room and hurriedly ushers us all down to the basement of the school where he tells us to practice getting on our hands and knees, putting our heads against the wall and our hands over the top of our heads. Like that's gonna help in a nuclear war. Asshole! Why couldn't we just be blissfully ignorant kids vaporized while sitting at our desks? Instead, he had to scare the shit out of us with HIS fear! Well, that "crisis" came and went like a fart in the wind, but the next one was a real doozy! You see, I don't know about the other kids, but at that age, I looked at teachers as akin to Gods.
So it's grade seven and God that year went by the name of Mr. Allan and Mr. Allan could be okay one minute, then scare the bejesus out of you the next by threatening to take you to the principal (the aforementioned asshole) for a strapping if you didn't turn your work in on time. In retrospect, I think he actually took a secret delight in scaring little kids as I seem to recall the hint of a grin on his face as he made his threats. Anyway, I digress. So, it's November 1963 and we're working away in class and suddenly everyone stiffens as the principal opens the door and motions to Mr. Allan to come out into the hall. They were out there for what seemed an eternity until finally, Mr. Allan walks slowly back into the class and... "God" is crying! Holy shit, are the missiles flying?? After composing himself, he tells us that the young, heroic President Kennedy has just had his brains splattered all over Dealey Plaza and the First Lady in Dallas, Texas (I think he used an abridged version...). A few girls in the class cried, but all the while I remember just sitting in amazement at the fact that "God" was shedding tears.
The next weirdness messed me up for quite some time. Whether I was too sensitive is debatable, but while now it seems commonplace, at the time it was horrifying. Picture this—it's now 1968 and I've just finished watching a very uplifting (!) episode of I Dream of Jeannie and then the news comes on with an opening video of a guy who walks up to another guy, holds a pistol to his head and blows his brains out. Nice prime time stuff! WTF! Well, thanks for that, CBS Evening News! I don't give a flying fuck how many news & documentary Emmy awards you have won over the years, that was like a sucker punch to the head for this teenager trying to make sense of the world. Never mind that the guy who lost his brains was supposedly "the enemy"—a Vietcong. To me, he was just another dude trying to make his way in the world like the rest of us. And what about the guy who shot him? Well, the former chief of South Vietnam's national police, Nguyễn Ngọc Loan, emigrated to the States after the war and opened a pizza parlor in Washington, DC. However, once the news got out who he was, Loan was forced into retirement. Somebody apparently wrote on the wall of his pizza palace, "We know who you are, fucker!" 'Nuff said.
Talking about "fuckers", it was obvious to me at the time that they had LOTS of them south of the border in the good ole U.S.A., especially in the south. Not two months after the Vietnamese dude got wasted, an icon of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, was shot and killed at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee by good ole boy James Earl Ray. King's violent death at the hands of a White man precipitated riots in over 100 cities across the U.S. and after things settled down a bit and we could see a flame of hope flickering in the eyes of those supporting a young senator from New York by the name of Robert Kennedy, it was only a matter of two more months before he got taken out as well. And so it goes... weird!
We've seen a ton of changes since then, highlighted by the election of a bi-racial man with a strange name in the U.S. Presidential election of 2008. The senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, became the first "almost Black" President of the United States. I still remember watching election night with the sea of people cheering him on and Oprah shedding tears of joy as it became obvious he had taken the election. Who would've thought?
Fast forward to NOW—June 2018. WTF happened? I keep waiting for the proverbial shit to hit the fan, but instead... it keeps piling up higher and higher. So, to answer the question in my subtitle—yes, folks, I think humanity is going to get a whole lot weirder.
But there's always tomorrow...