… out this morning, with people mentioning the “D”-word in the same breath as 20 million of our countrymen deal with the impact of widespread job loss.
As Children of Children of the Depression we always wondered if we would ever get back to the Bad Old Days we heard so much about at family dinners back in the day – smiling to ourselves as the aunts and uncles regaled us with yarns about growing their own food or hunting and fishing to supplement the family’s daily dietary needs.
As kids we tended to discount the old stories of Uncle Mike cleaning bricks for a penny a brick, of Aunt Rose working three jobs to make ends meet, dismissing the possibility it could happen again – pass the roast beef, please, Auntie – but later on, after seeing “stuff” happen and scenarios re-emerge that sounded vaguely familiar, we took the Old Ones’ advice and took measures to prepare for that Great Big Rainy Day.
So, here we are – with good people out of work; wondering how much fun it’s going to be flying anywhere in the months ahead; if our very nice postal carrier will soon go the way of the dinosaurs; if warehouse/fulfillment workers will get Hazardous Duty compensation; if during our inevitable hospital stay we’ll call our Night Nurse “Becca” or “RXSpec7” as robotics assume more roles humans can’t or won’t be able to.
And while our TV screens provide ample evidence of our eagerness to get back to doing what we do best: paving, populating, and polluting our planet – while getting our nails done and highlights touched up – we have to wonder if other factors will take the reins and make important future decisions for us, doing what we appear unable, or unwilling, to do successfully ourselves.
With all the cards still up in the air we’re seeing change afoot – much of it in line with points we raised years ago – closing wide swaths of our cities to all but pedestrian or bicycling traffic (Oakland, Seattle, Toronto); a reexamination of our food chain and processing operations; the future look of the modern office space.
Whether or not we will be able to move toward a better future together or into one marked with uncertainty over the tenure of governments, the hold of one monied sector over another, a far right armed to the teeth and eager for a game-changing boogaloo – remains to be seen. Our future is still to be written.