Monday, February 13, 2012

the aliens among us

A friend just emailed and said another friend said, "The times are changing and they've never been worse." I decided I'd see how much worse. I time-traveled via Google, to 1978.

Back then the headlines read THE GREAT GOD GASOLINE.

So I traveled back another 100 years to 1878. The headlines read FIRST TELEPHONE DIRECTORY. I looked at the fine print and it said there were 50 names in the book.

What else was going on in 1878?

Well, the Standard Oil monopoly was just getting started, which is to say, just getting omnipotent. There were the usual strikes, wars, famines, and hair-raising homocides, so I decided to tick the time clock forward to 1883 and see what things were like.  That was the year the U.S. Supreme Court decided that, by birth, American Indians were aliens, and dependents.

I flipped forward to 1978. The aliens were in the news again -- new aliens, ones from other galaxies. People were seeing them everywhere.

Forward . . . back, as they say, to 2012. Aliens still in the news: illegal, once again. And what about the aliens behind podiums, they were plentifully in the news but not named as such.

"Are things worser or betterer?" my grandson asks.

George Dawson, a grandson of slaves, said only a few years ago, "Things are getting better, I do believe."  If you agree, maybe you might want to do what he did -- try going back to elementary school, learn how to read, how to be polite, how to share, how to be nice. Wouldn't that be something you could call news? Mr. Dawson did it, but then again, from what I've read, he was always a nice man.

So -- worser or betterer?

Doesn't matter if we can just learn to be nice.