"The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bytes (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudo-science and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance." -- Carl Sagan, from "The Demon Haunted World" 1996
And now, 20 years later, here it is: America is sufficiently dumbed down to have been conned into electing a science denying, self aggrandizing, egotistical pitch man as its President. His actions and outbursts have been cause for great concern at a critical time when our President must manage a relationship with an equally if not more ego-maniacal ruler of an adversarial, nuclear equipped nation. Their escalating sabre rattling, resembling some sort of dumbass contest of who can be the most menacing bully, continually puts us ever closer to the precipice of nuclear war of which South Korea and Japan are likely to be the battleground upon which the greatest impact will be dealt.
Another Journey Begins
We fear for the safety of family in Japan, and thoughts of the reality and portent of this ever intensifying conflict have weighed heavily on our minds as the ecalating tension has coincided with the rapidly approaching departure date for a trip that we have been planning for the past six months. Our trepidation, however, has not stopped us from proceeding.
Now, the day of departure for our 2017 trip to Japan has finally arrived. In the early morning hours of April 20, 2017, I sit in a dimly lit corner of our room in the O'Hare Hilton, reflecting upon the hectic events of the past few days, and about our expectations and hopes about our impending journey, while trying to suppress our concern over current world events.
We look forward to seeing Ritsuko's family, and to visiting some places where we haven't been before. With great excitement, we look forward to once again experiencing the sights, sounds, and the wonderful food of this beautiful and fascinating country.
And I hope that somehow, in order to mitigate the madness that drives nationalist ferver and the illogical quest to destroy, that calmer, more reasonable minds and logic will prevail, and that the impending crisis will be averted.