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Cocooning Boomers watch WW3 ? Vol 41

April 21, 2014

If you remember where you were when Kennedy was shot, you must be a Boomer !

After a month fighting the flu and a subsequent bout of pneumonia, I am back trying to motivate Boomers to step up, lean in , and be the great generation we can be. We number in the millions, will live for many decades more, and have no clue what to do next. It’s a great opportunity to continue some of the great things our parents started, like gay rights, and fix new problems, like global warming.

But first, we must recognize that the old adage is true – if you do not have your health, you have nothing. I lived in a housecoat for three weeks, sleeping 18 hours a day, trying to control the flem and hacking cough that was the hallmark of this round of the virus. We will not discuss the white stuff that came out of my eyes ! After being stuffed up, I can finally think again. My bout of pneumonia is finally coming to an end, and my voice is returning. Really, I felt lost, like that plane, MH370, that disappeared into the Indian ocean. It was one of the two stories on TV that you could not ignore if you were house bound, as I was.

As an aside, it has been pointed out to me that globally we are overdue for a really bad flu epidemic, like the Spanish flu, which affected millions. The mystery is why we have not incurred this by now, considering how fast bugs can travel these days. One can point to our western health systems, food safety protocols, and drug research as our defense, but look at how easily measles spread in Canada recently, based on one visitor arriving from an infected country.

Being homebound, I now hate TV today even more than I did previously. MH370 was played up as a kind of reality television show, all breaking news and talking heads discussing nothing – there were no facts to discuss. The story had all the feel of a daytime soap, with some reality aspects. Boring to the extreme. It reminds me that people do watch this stuff, day in and day out, so the networks show it. We get the TV we deserve, as CNN just announced that its ratings were up for March, and all they showed was the flight mystery 24/7. Yes, I watched some – I was brain dead for a few weeks, remember ! – of the coverage. At least the commercials were not all geared for Boomers, like some shows. I always know when a program is geared for my age group, as the advertisements focus either on Viagra or Depends diapers for men. Sometimes I get angry at the commercials, and try to watch shows that still have beer commercials and hot car ads. Unfortunately, the content either is about the walking dead, or comprises a story about werewolves or vampires. Like I said TV sucks. If you find yourself spending excess time in front of the TV, and we all have some favourite shows, check out the commercials, and see if the show is geared for you, or your kids.

The other big story, and vastly more important, started with Putin’s annexation of the Crimea. This was fascinating to see unfold in today’s news coverage. First, the west is not going to resolve this with weapons or war, as that is so last century. Today’s weapons of mass destruction are economic. Sanctions will undo Putin’s plan soon enough. Since the Crimea, eastern Ukraine is now being stressed by Russian Special Forces. Are we watching the beginning of World War 3 ? I imagine that Obama is pissed that Putin has made him look weak. Even David Brooks, the New York Times columnist expressed his concern for Obama’s “lack of manhood” on Sunday’s talk shows. If a mostly reasonable conservative is concerned, Putin must already be planning the invasion.

I suppose legacy issues are the main reason for the aggression / annexations. Putin has been in power for a while, and can only see Russia going the way of Iran. I speak of the young people seeing what a liberal democracy can do with capitalism, and they want some. While China is attempting to use Communism to control capitalism, with some early success, Putin’s Russia will not resort to Communism, but do rely on the same type of cronyism, without the luxury of it having a fancy name. He needs some type of success to stay in power, or he will be turfed.

Personally, I do not believe that we are seeing the beginning of WW3. Instead, we are seeing the West’s economic success being somewhat copied, without the benefit of the full suite of tools needed to be fully implemented ( ie a legal system everyone can count on ). The young people will bring change, given time. Putin knows that the gas pipelines going through Ukraine are needed to fund his economy today, and that any issues with the pipelines spell trouble with his regime. All that oil and gas going to Europe through the pipelines going through uncontrolled countries could be turned off, or held for ransom, so Putin has just struck first, to get the best deal he can. He does not want Europe to stop trusting Russian supply, and turn to fracking, or other types of energy.

So, resistance to the west is futile. Whether through social media, migration, TV, or word of mouth, their children, whether in Iran, Russia, or Syria, do not want the status quo. With this realization, television goes back to being boring, and not history in the making, no matter what Wolf Blitzer wants you to believe.

Next on Boomers – wtf !, the end of environmentalism, thankfully.

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