Saturday, September 14, 2002

A Spot of Pessimism Before Bedtime

I just read a passage stating that the twentieth century went off-track in 1914 with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo. This, of course, is no big news. Anyone with a high school diploma knows the awful repercussions of that act, and the world war that followed it, and the atrocities that were to come. But then the book, which was written in 1994, went on to say that the events of the 1990s were somehow un-doing all of the nastiness of the previous decades: bringing down the Berlin Wall, ending apartheid, dissolving the Soviet Union, etc., so that the coming century would have a fresh new start.

It would be terrible to think that it all got screwed up before the first year of the new century was over, wouldn't it?

Of course, you'd have to agree with the idea that the 90s were a shiny, happy decade that did more good than bad for world history, and I think that remains to be seen. And you'd have to be mighty superstitious to believe that one event can set the tone for a whole century anyway.

Or would you?

It's just an idea. But if September 11 becomes the turning point for this century the same way that World War I was for the last, I quit. I quit, or move to Anarctica to live happily among the penguins.


A little pessimism never hurt anyone, right?

I've been watching too much TV.