Well, friends. Blogger has been down. I am sorry to be so uncommunicative.
I just finished reading a book by John Steinbeck, Travels With Charley. I’ve had it for a long time, but I haven’t read it because I was busy reading ASSIGNED books. Now that I am free, I am ready to go on a reading rampage.
So. Steinbeck decided, near the end of his life, to take a trip with his dog and find America. It seems reminiscent of On The Road by Kerouac, but without all of the mysticism. In place of it, Steinbeck has down-home philosophy.
It was first published in 1962. America had begun its mass-produced life. Things like plastic and mobile homes are things Steinbeck regards with wonder and suspicion. At that time, mobile homes were the latest innovation. They had not had time to rust and be blown away in hurricanes– for people to pile rusted car carnage around them and develop trailer park culture.
One interesting difference between Steinbeck’s view of the future and the view now is the great uneasiness about the BOMB. I remember this too, just barely. How everyone lived with the constant fear of nuclear war. It was everywhere, movies, songs, TV, books, conversations. The bomb was a shadow that clouded everyone’s view of the future.
Now, somehow, it is not the same way. I’m not so sure why. Nuclear weapons still exist, and more countries have them now than in the 60s. We are not waging a cold war with the Russians, but I wouldn’t say that Russia is stable, either.
It seems like we just decided to stop thinking about it. It became old news, maybe.
I am reminded of the funerals I have been to—I am thinking of the ones where the deceased was young, and the gathering of friends together for comfort was a gathering of teenagers and 20somethings. It is a shattering thing, that a friend has died, but it is impossible to maintain the attitude of sorrow and seriousness that such and occasion implies. Inevitably, my friends and I would break into some kind of humorous banter. We were torn and mourning but it was just too much to think about all the time.
I think that nuclear war and holocaust is too much to think about. We must move on. Our attention had to go elsewhere.
I don’t know if this is a good thing. I am only looking at what has happened, and I am wondering about it.