Or does it feel awfully 1939-ish out there?
Everywhere I look I see the bloggers openly asking the question - is it time to start shooting yet? Or - is this war coming up going to be a race war, or a civil war? Who are the villains? The blacks? The Mexicans? The eeeeeeevil jooooos are always a favourite, as are eeeeeeevil corporations run by eeeeevil greedy white men. The usual loud sabre rattling and blustering rhetoric seems to be giving way to serious questions, asked very softly. Instead of sabres being rattled, I'm hearing safeties quietly snicking off, shells sliding into chambers, and actions being quietly tapped and racked. The people that are doing all that aren't the usual militant kooks and nutbars... I'm seeing good, solid men sizing up their odds and the situations - and not liking what they see.
As I've said before, I used to hang around cops who often entertained themselves trying to school me on human behaviour. I was young and naïve but as the years passed I started to realize how much those men knew - and how much I didn't.
Wars, like riots, aren't gradual things. They come out of nowhere and burn with a fury and rage that is almost beautiful to behold. Men are at their worst during wartime - but they are at their best too. Did you know that artificial blood plasma was invented by a Japanese doctor that did the bulk of his research by staking out American POW's in the snow, and examining the behaviours of their bodily fluids as the subjects froze to death? His work has probably saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Whadda ya do with a guy like that? String him up? Or give him a Nobel? GAH!
The cops I hung out with in the rod n' gun club house likened potential war zones and riot scenes to a dry boreal forest: all they need is one properly placed spark - and the whole forest goes up. You can throw any number of lit cigarette butts into a forest like that and they will just gently burn out of their own accord. But sooner or later, one lands where there is fuel, and the air is puffing just right - and the flame starts. Nobody notices until the smoke of several acres is in the air - and then it's game on in earnest.
The riots of the famous British soccer hooligans always start with one man. They've caught it on film: An exasperated man is being regaled by one of his fellow simians. The monkey says something he doesn't like, and he punches the monkey out - and then they're all going at it! It's like watching somebody slip and fall in the mud - it's funny when it happens to somebody else! HAR HAR HAR! I laugh like hell, watching an entire section of a stadium with men flailing and flogging at each other, their wives cowering behind and screeching and screaming ... and even throwing and taking shots themselves...over a bloody soccer game! It's hilarious! WW1 started because some no-name duke got assassinated by some no-name terrorist outfit. Historically, they were given all the attention of a carelessly tossed cigarette butt - things only got real when the King and Kaiser squared off. The ensuing meat grinder ate half of my Grandfather's friends and family and left him scarred for life, physically and emotionally. It's heart breaking.
I'm seeing monkeys throwing burning sticks onto the tinder. I see others fanning the flames and trying to get them to catch, and still others ignoring it all and pretending to think all is well and that it will all go away and that cooler heads will prevail.
Up here in Canada it's not so bad. Yet. I've stocked up on ammo. I need to buy more metals and stock up on supplies. Hope you all are doing the same. Eyes wide open, everyone.