Profundity Du Jour

Profundity Du Jour

Do things ever really change?

That question came to mind the other day when I happened to hear an old song by the Kingston Trio titled “Merry Minuet.” Written by Sheldon Harnick and recorded by the Kingston Trio in 1958, it was very popular that year. Here’s its opening lyric:

They’re rioting in Africa
They’re starving in Spain
There’s hurricanes in Florida and Texas needs rain.

So has anything really changed in the world since this lyric became so popular more than half a century back? Yes and no.

The world was then, was before then, and is now, full of man-made and natural disasters. So maybe you could say that nothing of consequence ever really changes accept for a few place names and different natural disasters. When you look at the magnitude of comparable events, though, it’s immediately clear that things have gotten very different indeed.

Rioting seems benign compared to the genocides and nutcake religious insanities being perpetrated in the Middle East and elsewhere. The starvation on view in refugee camps in so many places in the world today not only dwarfs hunger in 1958 Spain but worldwide hunger at any time since the end of WWII. As for hurricanes and droughts in Florida and Texas, look at what’s happening now climate change-wise from California to Calcutta.

So what’s really changed since the Merry Minuet appeared? Put it this way. Much more of the same old shit, greatly magnified.

My new book:

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