How will future descendants view us? I think most of us are honest, hard-working, decent folks. But, across the entire developed world, we have managed to get ourselves into a horrendous mess. A freaking dumb mess, because we already have as much stuff as anyone could possibly ever use.
And what are we doing to get ourselves out of it?
The childishly named Super Committee has come back out of their sekrit clubhouse with...nothing. Of course, they swore they would shoot their favorite dogs if they did not solve our problems. So now, having sworn this, they will, of course, return home, pour a last bowl of Iams, scratch Maggie behind the ears and then put a hollowpoint through her skull. That will make them sorry they couldn't figure out the incredibly hard problem of how to reduce the world's largest military budget, out-of-control entitlements, or comical healthcare costs.
But look how useful that dang dog is, they will say. Nothing is be gained now by destroying such a fine animal now, is there? Only a fool would think of reducing value in this way.
Southern tier Europeans are rioting because the magic beans that were going to get them to the giant's hideout to steal talking harps and treasure have turned out to be...beans. Those take a long time to grow, and then all you have are more beans. "But the guy said..." The Germans who kept funding the Mercedes their layabout brother-in-law was building out in the garage have finally opened the door only to find a couple of tires and lots of empty tall boys, and they are mad. How could anyone have hoodwinked them so cleverly?
Will my descendants see me as a ludicrous fool for even living in this time? Because I can see how things can easily tip into a real disaster. And it's not going to be an accident, like getting hit by an asteroid or something. It's because that stack of wedding china we built to get to the bourbon we think Dad hid in that top cabinet is really starting to wiggle and we have no idea of how to get down. It's because we're morons.
My grandchildren will come to visit me wherever my irritated offspring have warehoused me and say "Grandpa, why were you all such morons?" And all I'll be able to say is "Just you wait, you wretched sprat. Just you wait. If you think you're smarter it's because you haven't managed to build your stack high enough. Isn't there a gravy boat in the sideboard you haven't tried to balance on the top yet? The problem with your generation is that you just lack enterprise."
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go off and work on my hollow laugh. I can see that it will really come in handy.