It’s Their World Now

It’s your world now
Use well the time
Be part of something good
Leave something good behind
The curtain falls
I take my bow
That’s how it’s meant to be
It’s your world now.

(Glenn Frey & Jack Tempchin)

Remember the ‘Eagles’, one of the greatest American rock bands of all time? Formed in 1971, their music symbolized that great era when California was the only place to be; the Vietnam War was shortly to come to an end, and by the time it did the ‘Eagles’ were arguably the biggest band in America.

In those days, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Timothy B Schmit, and Joe Walsh were all kids in their twenties. Their music was aimed at us kids of similar age. We lapped up ‘Hotel California’, ‘Take It Easy’, ‘One Of Those Nights’, and other great tracks secure in the knowledge nothing was wrong with the world, and our elders (once Nixon was removed) were doing mostly everything right. Or, if they weren’t, we were too busy having fun to care.

It’s been one month and a day since my last post on Sparrow Chat. Partly, other priorities have resulted in the lack of posting, but mostly I’ve ceased to care. You see, there comes a point – somewhere around the age of sixty-seven – where what happens on this planet is no longer of concern. I guess it’s part of growing old.

Every day the news becomes worse. It’s not the chaos in Egypt, nor the indoctrinal attempts to bolster the Obama administration by pretending there may be the possibility of a peace settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis – where obviously none can ever exist in the present climate.

It’s the news much closer to home – in America itself – that is truly disturbing. Americans just don’t seem to notice the meteorological catastrophe that is devastating their nation. The media headlines it every day, but in a way that says, “it’s mundane, nothing to be concerned about, just another ‘weather’ story”.

Is anybody looking back ten, twenty, fifty, years? Only the old people can state with certainty, “It weren’t like that when I were a lad/lass.” No, it wasn’t. Oh, yes, catastrophic floods, wildfires, tornadoes may have existed back then, but in such numbers and magnitude as is happening today? No, definitely not.

But, who the hell listens to old folk anymore? There was a time when the elders of the tribe were revered as wise, hearkened to, their wisdom acted upon. That’s not the way of the world today. Elders are crazy, nutty, their memories warped by age and senility. No-one listens to them anymore. After all, our president is a young man – barely fifty-two and looking ten years younger. Is he not the wisest man in the nation? Otherwise, how could he possibly be president?

The young have their smart phones, Ipads – technological wizardry never dreamed of when the ‘Eagles’ were singing ‘Tequila Sunrise’ – and maybe they’ve become so immersed in this communications revolution that they’ve truly forgotten how to communicate the things that really matter.

If I purchase a tube of toothpaste on Amazon today, I’m invited to declare my new purchase on FaceBook. I can’t believe that anyone of the six and a half billion humans on this planet would be interested to know about my toothpaste, so I never take up Amazon’s offer, but presumably sufficient people use the service to warrant making this function available?

Which all makes one wonder: “Is my toothpaste of more importance to humanity than the catastrophic, man-made, climate change that is already ravaging this nation and this planet?

Certainly, on the surface at least, it may well be. For who, apart from a few well-meaning folk, who bear comparison with anti-hunting campaigners or gun control freaks, even believes in the existence of man-made climate change? After all, it’s not affecting the performance of the Chicago Bears or the Miami Dolphins, so what’s the problem here?

And, hey, you know, at age sixty-seven it’s not my bloody problem anymore. At best, I’ll not manage more than thirty further years on this planet, and likely considerably less. Man-made climate change is not going to have any truly devastating effect on me.

In 2007, the ‘Eagles’ released their last album, “The Long Road Out Of Eden.” The band members were just short of sixty years old. The last track on that superb double album was entitled, “It’s Your World Now.”

It symbolizes exactly how I feel today. I’m not responsible for the state of the planet. I wasn’t running things this past fifty years. So, I have this message for those who are today at that age as were Frey, Walsh, Schmit, and Henley when they wrote and performed, ‘Hotel California’.

If you don’t care enough to save the planet for your future, then fuck you. Consider whether there’s any difference between burying your heads in the sand, or, into your tablets and smart phones.

“It’s Your World Now,” and, frankly, at my age, I no longer give a damn.

5 Replies to “It’s Their World Now”

  1. RJ,

    We do live in depressing times, but I think people like you have an obligation to continue to wage the good fight. Although we will probably lose in the end, you should not throw in the towel.

  2. Mr. Adams, just know that your blog has had a difference over the years.

    Way back in 2007, you wrote a blog post titled “A Jewel Among Nations?,” wherein you discussed a young kid who said on a blog post that the United States was the “greatest country in the world” and how you challenged him for saying it. The 20 year old me tried to defend my comments beneath your blog post and you provided an eloquent and thoughtful response that was blunt, but not mean-spirited.

    I grew up in a wildly conservative town in which words like “Democrat” and “liberal” were considered dirty. I was too much of a careless teenager during the Bush-Gore election to care, but by the Kerry-Bush election (my senior year of high school), I followed it closely. By that point, I had rejected my conservative upbringing, but the stain of 18 years of indoctrination wasn’t completely washed away and I was trying to “figure it all out,” for a lack of a better description.

    As I began my studies in college, the more I read and the more I learned, the more liberal my views leaned. At twenty, I was registered non-affiliated and mostly disillusioned by American politics. Still, I had in my head that America was, without any sort of reasoning to support the comment, the greatest country in the world, despite what I was beginning to learn beyond the Texas-made high school social studies books that I had grown up learning from.

    I was used to be being able to defend my words when it came to my peers, but when you called me out, I was embarrassed that I really couldn’t back up what I had said. First and foremost, it made me question why I had said it at all. Even if I knew it wasn’t true, why had I said it?

    While I don’t comment often, I’ve been a loyal reader of your blog ever since.

    It took a lot of soul searching (and even more reading and researching) for my ideas to evolve to where they are today.

    These many years later, I’m now going into my fourth year teaching high school American history, economics, and sociology. When it comes to history, we don’t use the awful textbooks. And when students use similar euphemisms or blanket claims – whether related to war or political parties or race or any other aspect of our modern American society – like you did with me, I challenge them to really examine what they are saying. Sometimes they’re defensive, sometimes they get angry, but one can hope that it simply plants the seed, like you once did with me.

  3. I don’t know what to say. It’s all been said. The young know what is going on. I have heard from many. But with the corporatocracy running things, we haven’t a hopey-changey in hell. Our PM is prorogueing parliament yet again for some fresh derring do, no doubt.
    I rarely write of the shyte anymore. What’s the point?
    Tell us of your piece of Eden and how you’re enjoying it.
    The now is all we have. And when the Daily Mail is reporting on the dire straits the planet is in we know we’re in enormous trouble.
    I too feel hopeless but we all need each other to lean on.
    XO
    WWW

  4. I almost missed this post, RJ – had assumed you’d gone on an extended vacay to t’owd country.

    I hope you won’t throw in the towel yet awhile, let Jonathan’s comment inspire you – please!

    You quoted Eagles, I’ll quote Kevin Ayers’ “Shouting in a Bucket Blues”

    So I sing for everyone who feels there’s no way out
    So maybe if you all shout someone will hear you

    I’ve threatened to throw in the towel several times myself, but something keeps me going. Bloody-mindedness no doubt.
    😉

    maybe if you all shout someone will hear you

  5. I guess I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet. Reading back over the post, I figured I was probably wildly optimistic suggesting another possible thirty years on this planet. I based that on the fact my ‘old man’ is ninety-eight, living alone, and still driving himself to the supermarket twice a week. On reflection, he probably abused his body a damn sight less than I did mine in my youth, so maybe my time may be substantially less. Still, as Al Devito pointed out, that’s no darned good reason for opting out of responsibility. And I know he’s got a few more years under his belt than I have under mine.

    Jonathan, your words moved me. It’s good to know someone got something from my writing that helped them. Teaching’s a great profession, but so is writing so finish that book you’re working on and don’t worry if you can’t find a publisher. These days, publishers find it easier to recognize dollar bills than they do good writers. I’ve sold more of my work through Amazon Kindle sales than any publisher managed for me, and that includes those capitalist rats who promise ‘successful self-publishing’.

    My good friends, Twilight and WWW, who’ve stood by me for many a year, and without whom I may have gone months with no comments on Sparrow Chat. You’re so right, WWW. It has all been said. I guess we just have to go on repeating it (though, maybe not, if the Daily Mail has finally decided there might be a story in climate change!) As for ‘my piece of Eden’, you’ll still find it at http://100acrewoodhouse.com though I fear I’ve neglected that blog this year even more than I’ve failed Sparrow Chat. Retirement is proving way more hectic than my working life ever was.

    Twilight, I miss “t’owd country” a lot, but my place is here and, of now, there are no plans to return. Bloody-mindedness? We Lancastrians have been accusing you Yorkists of that since the Wars of the Roses! In your case, though, it’s a decided asset if it keeps you blogging.

    I do still care, but I am growing somewhat weary of it all, so Sparrow Chat may be a trifle slimmer and more sparse in the future. Even as I write, the politicians are drawing up plans to invade Syria. Dear Leader Obama has been holding lengthy telephone conversations with the Joker, Cameron. Will it never end?

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