The Earlier Crisis

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.

Like now?

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.

4 Replies to “The Earlier Crisis”

  1. Well, finding out that so many things are NOT made in Western countries will be a big takeaway from this one. At least I hope it will be. China can just say ‘do as you are told little democracy boy otherwise we won’t send you medicine/insert other essential item’ = Auto China Win.

    It has shocked a lot of people over here thats for sure. Lots of small things too that the average bear never pays a mind to. Various essential chemicals and other obscure things that would shut a country down within a matter of weeks.

    A lot of people have called the economy global. It isn’t really. It is the Chinese global economy, and they have made it patently clear that this has been their plan all along, and an unfortunate occurrence has allowed the rest of the world to see just where this has been heading. I don’t think China wanted this to happen at all. Now that the fog has been cleared, any country that still wants to be independent in the future needs to make sure all of their critical industry is conducted at home, free of foreign interference and blackmail.

    Free trade is wonderful, until it isn’t.

  2. Crisis you say. Well humph.
    The US entered ww2 late, essentially in 1942. So by Sept 1945, we had been all out warring globally for 3 yrs and 9 months.
    In that period we created the most powerful Navy ever, the most powerful airforce ever, the atom bomb, and a pretty good well equipped largest army. Not forgetting the Brits, and the Soviets, (who shot 40 percent of the Luftwaffe), we kicked ass, while regrettably incurring huge losses. We knew how to get stuff done.
    In the 50s one man, Jonas Salk, stopped the Polio epidemic, and that didn’t involve billions of $$$, or multiple fat pharma corporations. We did have competent leadership.
    Later we dicked around in S.E. asia around for years, profigatly used up the inventory of cold war aircraft, and too many disadvantaged grunts.
    Yet later again we started faked up wars in the Mideast that have never ended, much to the delight of the Military Industrial complex.
    Once upon a time we were competent, courageous, and rightous. Now we’re just a blob of corporate greed.
    I truly believe we’ll come out the other side of this a better world. it’s a rough ride, so hang on tight, be rationally righteous, and love your friends.

    1. When I was in high school my dad, who not inclined to ask anybody anything, asked “what caused the great depression?” He figured they probably covered it in history class, and since he left school at the age of twelve, during the depression, he didn’t know.

      I didn’t know how to tell him that nobody claimed to know the answer. I’ve since come to the conclusion that it’s all a rich man’s trick. As long as “they” need the “masses” to protect them from other “masses” we’ll have jobs and infrastructure and stuff. But as soon as they don’t need the hoi polloi the rich just dump us all out by the freeway interchange and hold up a champagne glass in our honor as their limos speed on by our homeless camp.

      It’s rugged out there…

  3. Depressions and Recessions usually hit when too many people see that the Emperor Has No Clothes. This latest one is different as it was triggered by a health issue, but at a time when the economies of most nations were already getting very smelly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.