I was talking to a friend’s 12 year old son yesterday about several related topics trying to help him draw connections to current times and history. The convo started about Greece’s financial crisis and the possible devaluation of the euro, how the US’s dollar is fundamentally different because it is the world’s currency and how we need to protect that status. Etc etc…
Then the convo turned to the dust storm of a week ago and the severe drought going on in Texas and surrounding states. I mentioned the Dust Bowl of the 30’s and how it was a cause of, and impacted our recovery from, The Great Depression. This young man, in our current educational system, had never heard of the Dust Bowl. Neither had his father, my age. Wtf?
And here is the recent duststorm that kicked our ass in Phoenix recently.
Ok…so here’s my bitch. When I’m talking to a 12 year old I can understand how we have failed his education. When I’m talking to his father, I can’t. I wonder WHY we aren’t educating our own citizens about our own history. We are not talkin Greek Mythology here…we are talking relevant events in the recent past that affected our not so distant relatives. My grandmother and grandfather moved to Washington from South Dakota, as children, due to the lack of farming in the 30s and my grandmother can tell riveting stories of bring so hungry as a child that she and her siblings ate raw flour.
I was raised on a self-subsistence farm. We generated our own power, food, etc. I hated it then… But when I think about what happens when the US cant feed itself, either from no gas to farm or no water, I miss the security of the farm and the terrain of the Pacific Northwest. In my hometown area I could stay alive, without McDonald’s, indefinitely. Maybe its time to revisit the ideas of my parents. I am a product of my father, and give him full credit for my brilliance. He was a separatist, a critical thinker, a hippie, a back to the land guy from the 60s…keep gov out of your life to the extent possible and do for yourself. We had our own power, well water, septic system, etc. No need for public utilities, no need for dependence on Safeway. Whatever food product we didn’t have we bartered with our neighbors for. Obviously we shopped for clothes, sugar, and other goods…but we weren’t dependent on a debit card, a store, a company, or the gov. The older I get the more value I see in that lifestyle.
Are we doomed to repeat, rinse, deny, and repeat? Seems so. Who benefits from our ignorance? I need a nap from the brain cramp.