7 Sept 14
“Hear my words, that I might teach you
Take my hand, that I might reach you,
But my words, like silent raindrops, fell…”
From “Sound of Silence,” written in 1964 by Paul Simon. Most famous rendition sung by Simon & Garfunkel the same year.
Learn from history?
This, from a friend and colleague:
“I speculated that progeny of groundhogs I’ve killed over the last few decades would be especially wary of me and the tactics I’ve so successfully employed against their progenitors.
I supposed that they could have been instructed in specific paths to use in order to avoid my notice. Maybe they were warned to stay out of well-lit areas on sunny days, to move rapidly from hole to hole, to recognize my shape and the sounds of gunshots, etc.
With their sage (surviving) parents’ ongoing example, they would, for their own safety’s sake, never persist in such bad habits. They would surely have been sternly counseled that, when they become complacent and careless, I, the hunter, the grim reaper, will take immediate and unapologetic advantage of their negligence.
Recently, in the wake of a large and concentrated extermination of groundhogs from a particular property, I continue to notice juveniles presenting themselves in the exact same locations, and engaged in the exact same activities, that got the prior generation virtually wiped-out only months before!
Even when these specific animals personally witnessed the events that resulted in their ancestors’ demise, or were influenced by survivors to take new precautions and develop new habits, they seem to have become, or perhaps remained, ever so oblivious, which, yet again, leaves them dangerously vulnerable to my short-list of approaches and attack!
In thinking back to other species, other locations, and to other times, I now conclude that they are all subject to the speedy extinction of vigilance and self-preservation instincts, over time.
Now, I reluctantly conclude the same tendency is true of most people in this civilization.
We make valiant efforts to “never forget”” atrocities and barbarousness of evil men, but that information soon, sometimes within the same generation, free-falls to the lowest levels of our consciousness, personal priorities, and attention.
The result is identical to having forgotten history completely, or, worse yet, having failed to learn and appreciate important lesson to begin with. That explains my astonishment at watching “man-on-the-street” interviews of US citizens who can’t even name their own countries’ president, much less our Founders, never heard of WWII nor WWI nor the Holocaust, nor the War Between the States, et al
They have willfully failed to learn hard, difficult lessons of prior generations. They have no interest in history and are therefore easily manipulated by agenda-driven leftist revisionists, who only care about their votes. They are thus perfectly vulnerable to the same, unvaried attacks by fascist dictators, Communists, and religious conquerors that enslaved and destroyed so many previous civilizations, now long-lost in the dustbin of history.
They have no defense. Their fate is sealed, by their own choice!
They enjoy no more protection than the naive, adolescent groundhog eating the choicest of grasses in the middle of a closely-cut field, in the glorious light of day
… as he is relentlessly spied through my scope, with crosshairs on his glib, fat torso, and is about to be unceremoniously disintegrated by a bullet he will never hear!
What can be done to make his generation vigilant and, for once, serious about life and the future?
I fear, not much. Some trends, once they take hold, cannot be reversed!”
“… and now, when I hear people curse the chance that was wasted,
I know, but too well, what they mean!”
From “Begin the Beguine,” written by Cole Porter in 1935. Most memorable renditions were Perry Como’s, from 1967, and Mario Frangoulis’, from 2004