The current pandemic reminds me very much of an earlier crisis. No, not the war (any of them) or the depression (any of them) or the AIDS crisis or anything like those things…at all.
I’m talking about the one “crisis” that really does resemble this one, and I’m wondering if it will turn out the same way.
I’m talking about “The Energy Crisis” of the 1970’s. It was politically controversial (like now). It was hard on poor people (like now). It wrecked the economy (like now). It was all but forgotten ten years later (in 1989)–but it changed the world.
Please keep in mind that I’m not talking about the 1973 Oil Embargo. That began the crisis. I’m not talking about the 1979 Oil Shortage. That was a part of, but not all of, the problem. The real “Energy Crisis” went on for ten years (or maybe forever) and, if you do your analysis properly, you can see how it affected just about everything in the world. The world we live in now is the result of that decade of “crisis” and how we responded to it.
And… as far as The Internet is concerned, it didn’t happen. Or rather, it barely happened. It was two “shocks” and some other stuff. Wars. Bad presidents. Bad Santas. Iranians. Liberals.
Stuff like that.
But the truth is that the real, factual energy crisis actually happened, and should have pushed us to work harder to do some things, like get rid of fossil fuels, and it did, somewhat–but it also pushed us to send troops to the Middle East and set up a “plastic” central banking system that just prints money, y’all.
And fracking. Fracking.
We live in the post-Energy Crisis world. That was what defined us, and I believe that the current pandemic will cause similar changes in our world–and don’t forget that it was a WORLD crisis. Just like now. We Americans tend to want to forget that something as large as the pandemic, or the energy crisis, changes the world. It’s not just an American problem. It’s a world problem.
But, as I’ve mentioned on this blog before, we forget. Stuff that we find unpleasant is forgotten.
Over time, the facts of the past change. The past, that we try to remember, just fades away.
Take James Stewart. He was a movie star and a war hero and an Air Force general. He was also bald. His hairline resembled that of Patrick Stewart in The Next Generation. Very bald.
At one time (I’m not sure how it is now) there was a regulation that Air Force officers could not wear hairpieces. So James Stewart’s official Air Force photo showed him as he really looked–without the rug.
I admit that when I first saw this photo, it was a bit of a shock. But I didn’t download it, or if I did, it’s been lost.
Go and try to find that photo now. The same photo exists, yes, but it has hair.
Speaking of celebrities, I clearly remember that the beautiful Lauren Bacall was one of the world’s most dazzingly women, but she did not age well. By the 1960’s, she had wrinkles on her face, the result of heavy smoking and lots of sun, that made her resemble the character “Prune Face” from Dick Tracy comic strips.
It was sad.
Then, one day, she suddenly looked good again. She was one of the first, and most successful, face-lift patients. Her success must have motivated Hollywood (and wealthy people everywhere) to go plastic surgery crazy and so we ended up with Michael Jackson, etc.
But try to find any evidence of this on The Holy Internet. It doesn’t exist. Like James Stewart’s bald head, Lauren Bacall’s prune face has been sent down the memory hole.
Along with The Energy Crisis.
In ten years time, will young people look puzzled if you mention “coronavirus” or “covid-19?”
I believe they will. I know it’s hard to imagine now, but while the entire world will change, the cause will quietly be forgotten, because it’s just too darn unpleasant.