The Baby Boomer generation was born into an age of irony. The Boomers are those born after World War Two. This cohort has faced, all their lives, the fact that several nations possess the power to annihilate the human race with nuclear bombs. Only one nation has ever actually used a nuclear bomb in warfare, and only one other nation has felt the awful terror of its hellish wrath. If you don’t know which nations, then,
ironically, you have missed a major milestone in the history of western civilization.
Nuclear energy has been used since then to produce electricity, and ironically, by-products are used in cancer diagnosis and treatment, and in the making of nuclear bombs. About eight nations are known
to have enough bombs in storage to wipe out everyone in the world. A few others are suspected of having that capability, and others are hinting they will go that direction. When a belligerent non-state actor obtains that technology, we may be in deep trouble.
Another energy that has come into the mainstream of society is electronic recording and transmission of sound and sight.
This technology enabled the Beatles to perform “All You Need is Love” to a television audience around the world.
Another newly-introduced technology is psychedelics, allowing millions to have a glimpse at how their minds process incoming information; quite literally, thinking outside the box. The plants, herbs, mushrooms and yogic methods have been known for millennia, but were limited to shamans and priests until the 60s. Even
if you didn’t partake in psychedelic substances or methods, the sights and sounds and recognitions permeated music and art and led people to undertake new directions in their lives; to circle the square, so to speak. That phenomenon is so mainstream now that marijuana is legal and psilocybin is used to help rehabilitate people with trauma-damaged psyches. Aren’t we a civilization made up of trauma-damaged psyches? We’re faced with tremendous ironies at every turn, every day.
One of those ironies is represented in the ‘back to the land’ notion; the romantic idea that drew many to rural Pontiac County – the idea that you could buy backwoods abandoned farms, building houses and
raising families, outside the box. The modern offshoot of that is manifest in the urge city people have to move to the country, to get away from the hustle, bustle and noise.
Ironically, lakeside properties are now built up to the point that houses are side-by-side and weekends are filled with the noise of lawnmowers, ATVs and motorboats. Cottagers have managed to bring with them the suburbs they sought to escape. The new suburbs lack many of the big city
conveniences, including fast reliable internet service. If the workload ever returns to the old commute to offices in the city, ruralites will discover distance is a major drain on resources.
Then, ironically, begins the back-to-the city movement – if a nuclear bomb doesn’t get us first!