2018 October 19
On this monument is "written between the lines", the challenge and mission of our generation.
These photos show what remains in memory of the U.S.S. Oregon.
In the third photo you see two epithets graffitied upon the mast. I call them epithets because of the way they deface a monument, and because of the way they stand against the ideas that civilization exists for, but not because of inconsistency with the clear trend in facts visible to open eyes.
The first of the two messages reads: "Its [sic] called the American DREAM cause you have to be sleeping to believe it"
It is not just the American dream that stands imperiled, by rising debt-to-GDP, chronic trade deficits and homelessness, and wages lagging feebly behind costs of living as the nation bleeds wealth and misallocates resources under misconceived and misguided policy - it is the entire ecosystem and all life that stands imperiled by humanity's chronic pollution and ravenous and thoughtless exploitation and defilement of the Earth.
The sources of this ecological destruction are as old as human civilization, specifically (1) seeking less miserable ways and standards of daily living; and (2) the arms race. Remember, "the stone age", "the bronze age", "the iron age", "the nuclear age". However with scientific breakthroughs old patterns acquired a new toxicity: humans have done more to destroy the habitability of the Earth in the past hundred and twenty years than in all the thousands of years of their existence before that. If the species continues on this trajectory, how much longer does it last, and what does existence look like in that time?
Like Khrushchev's metaphor of the "knot of war" humanity's ever-escalating quest for secure and comfortable life is not easily disentangled from its increasingly violent strangulation of the ecosystem.
This is the challenge of our generation, else there not be many generations yet to come.