Personal question: What do you do late at night..?
Our astrophysicists anxiously scan the cosmos saying: “The only sure sign of life is change.” Meanwhile down here on earth things have been changing ever since we lost that lease on Eden. But lately change has changed! Thanks to modern technology, changes come faster and more complexly than ever. What we took for granted, for truth, and for science yesterday are often today’s intellectual discards. [Remember when we said the Titanic was unsinkable and marriage was forever?]
When we’re young, change can be exciting. It means something new is up ahead. When we’re old, change can be unsettling. It means something new is up ahead. Ready or not, there are two historic changes going on every day between your morning coffee and your evening pillow. They have to do with our minorities and our mores:
* Traditionally the majority in America has been the white-anglo-saxon-protestant male [WASPs in government, courts. Wall Street, and country clubs]. But a funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century. Two of our traditional minorities have spiked dramatically. Women [now a majority of voters, drivers, home buyers, college students] and Non-Whites [by 2050, 51% of the population].
Make no mistake. Changes have consequences. Our emerging new majorities will be changing how we buy, eat, vote and see ourselves in the national mirror. Conservative voices like Pat Buchanan, Donald Trump, Clint Eastwood, and Michelle Bachman see the coming decline & fall of the American Empire. Others see a new infusion of fresh blood enhancing the body politic. Our grand-children will be here to see whose right!
* Traditionally our social mores were reflected in the public lives of the public figures we most admired. Looking back at the last century’s Hollywood icons, Life Magazine featured role-models like John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Jack Nicholson [strong silent men who enjoyed being a man]; Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe [sexy women who enjoyed being a woman]. But ever since the Sixties saw men and women protesting together, the culture has gradually become more trans-gender.
Men like Tom Hanks and women like Rachel Maddow are among those who have comfortably re-defined some of the old frontier stereotypes. To the joy of progressives, the consternation of fundamentalists.
Next time you see an astrophysicist scanning the skies for changes, ask her to point her scope earthward. There are enough changes sizzling down here to match the next Nova. Only we don’t have the luxury of simply scanning them; we’ve got to survive them.
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