I was listening to some talk radio in the mid 80s, right before Rush Limbaugh and his ilk turned the medium into a vast wasteland, and the subject of population control came up. I wasn’t an antinatalist at the time, but was keen to listen. Growing up in the 70s I’d been exposed to lots of talk about dwindling resources, carbon footprints and the like, and there was much serious discussion about just how many people, along with their accompanying trundle sledge of irredeemable byproducts, the planet could agreeably sustain. Truly, in those days it would have seemed fashionably irresponsible NOT to consider the issue. Unfortunately, I kind of dropped out of the zeitgeist for a decade or so to serve as a foot-soldier for a Jim Jones wannabe (all the wackiness with just HALF the violence!), but after some time spent recovering my senses I once again turned my attention to daily global affairs, and guess what? Not a peep, and the population had doubled. So, I settled into my pickup truck’s bench seat and prepared myself for a nice philosophical diversion from the freeway traffic I was stuck in.
To make a long story short, what I actually got was some hem hawing, shoe shuffling, throat clearing, namby pamby avoisure (to quote Kent Brockman) of the subject for about 30 seconds before both the host and guest managed to trip over themselves onto a safer landing. So what happened? What changed between then and then in such a dramatic way that within 15 years the most globally relevant philosophical/political issue on the tips of everybody’s tongues dropped into the asshole of historical obscurity faster than Sabrina Rubin Eredely?
I suppose it’s a matter of ideologies that get too big for their britches and lose sight of the practical side of things. In the fight for so-called autonomy we sometimes lose sight of context, including concerns for thriving survivability. Common sense gets swept away in a tumult of professional victimization and finger pointing. Same goes for these massive human migrations we’re witnessing around the planet these days. Compassion and pragmatism MUST co-exist in some sort of balance, and all the grandstanding I’m hearing from certain corners of the political arena blinds us to this one simple fact: TOO MANY PEOPLE!
Well, there’s a rare political rant from moi. I actually lost my taste for it about halfway through, so it probably feels a bit truncated. So be it! The problem with politics, see, is that it’s never what it seems to be, and the variables are endless. Now that I think about it, politics should be outlawed. Some day...