On Apocalyptic Musings
Each of the last few times that I have returned home to Tucson from school, I always find myself with time on my hands. Often, I use this time to read about subjects of interest. This usually involves current events, different countries of the world, some literature, and plenty of history. Quite often, I find these all coming together in my mind to create many apocalyptic situations.
You want examples, do you? Well, two years ago, I had just finished my sophomore year of college and I was getting excited and ready for a trip to South Korea. I spent hours and hours reading books about the history of Korea, the war, the division, the current economic "miracle" in the south and then went and saw it on my own. Often, as I read through page after page about this sadly-divided nation, I kept imagining how one day, hostilities would cease, two separate flags would become one, two governments one, and two people divided for so long would be one nation. Capitalism would take care of the poor northerners plight.
And it seemed reasonable. But each day I would think again about the sad status quo and I would hang my head, yet still hope for the best.
Last Christmas break, when I started using this blog more often, my attention shifted to the terrible situation in Iraq. I could read the writing on the wall and watched as, each day, the situation grew more and more dire. I was amazed that I could learn about what was going on by reading blogs that Iraqis had written. See my "Blogs I Read" section to find some of them. Again, the more I read about Iraq and its history and status quo, the more I would keep imagining how great it will be one day. How one day I will fly there to meet some of my online friends, will sit in the sunshine on the sidewalk and smoke hookah, discussing the horrors of the past and the beauty of the present. But alas, each day the news tried to keep me from imagining this.
Other times, like the Christmas right before I went to Sweden, I turned my attention to Europe and the world as a whole, imagining everyone working together, using sustainable, non-polluting energy, not wasting away the earth, not exploiting each other, and everyone doing their part to help everyone else have a better standard of living without a cost to the environment. Often my apocalyptic thoughts would be accompanied by futily wishing certain things in the past hadn't happened, such as the horrors of war, especially the horror in Iraq since 2003 and the sad division of Korea in 1953.
This summer, I have some of these thoughts mixed in, especially as I try to imagine myself as part of the world, now that I have graduated from college and am trying to figure out where I fit in.
However, because of the amount of time I have had on my hands this summer, I have used some of my thinking on more trivial matters, namely, my beloved Chicago Cubs. Often, I would find myself dwelling on events in the past, such as how the Cubs have only won the World Series twice, in 1907 and 1908, and how they lost it in 1906, 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938 and 1945, despite my wishes that the past could change. By the way, they have not been back since 1945, despite a close call in 2003. So yes, I go over events in the past, wishing they could change, but I also look forward to the future, when the Cubs will win the World Series and the entire city of Chicago will disintegrate from happiness and the Cubs become the team against whom all others are measured.
I can keep imagining. The funny thing however, is that given the current state of the World, including the Korean peninsula, the 2006 Cubs season, the capitalist system currently in place, the country of Iraq and the Middle East as a whole, I don't think any of my apocalyptic musings are any more likely to happen than any others. That is the sad part, but then again, if I only were to dwell on things that just might happen in my lifetime, these thoughts would not be apocalyptic musings, and it does not take much of an imagination for those, does it?
Here's to the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, to Iraq, Lebanon and Israel living in peace, to Indonesians designing automobiles and Americans making clothing, to Koreans meeting their long-lost brothers and sisters, and to the world living at peace.
When Chicago Ruled Baseball: The Cubs-White Sox World Series of 1906
By Bernard A. Weisberger