Monday, June 28, 2010

An Introduction - Albuquerque's "Not So Bright" Future

An Introduction to the MeanMesa Series: Albuquerque Youth Corps
 (There are three more posts on this topic)

Now, the remnants of history which survive to this current day are rife with the  repeating lament:

"Today's spoiled, petulant children will be the ruin of us!  Why can't they be like we were -- you know, in the good old days when we were young?"

The young followers of Alcibiades, one of MeanMesa's favorite historic role models, set ancient Athens on its incredibly traditional "nose."  Those old Senators had no taste for vibrant, independent and fluid new Athenians.  Likewise, when the young, up and coming Scipio was dispatched to defeat Carthage in the Punic Wars, leading the scant legions left in the city's arsenal after Hannibaal had wreaked havoc for a decade, he was no favorite of the already moribund Roman military leadership.

Interestingly, both harangues seemed to center, at least a little, on shoes.  The focus of the old Athenian critics was a derisive conclusion that Alcibiade's bad influence on the youth of the day arose from what they called "Alcibiades sandals."  Young Scipio endured a similar complaint from the old Roman Senate because, in their words, he wore "silver slippers."

Both stories ended well for the newly cast youth.  Alcibiades returned after "defecting" twice (once to the Spartans and later to the Persians) to save the day at the great naval battle in the Bay of Salamis, dispatching the Persian hordes once and for all and probably ushering in centuries of Hellenic Greatness.  Scipio, contradicting the nay sayers in the Roman leadership, "tore asunder every block held with mortar" in the Baal worshipping, Phoenician stronghold in North Africa.

What could these pungent tales have to do with the future of Albuquerque?  Their relevance to this posting is derived from the similarity of the complaints.

It simply would not serve to substantiate MeanMesa's claim of "impending doom" if a door were left ajar for those among us to simply say "Oh well, there have always been complaints about the young people, and this is no more or less than yet another case of the same old thing."

Unhappily, it is not simply a contemporary version of the dire predictions of those old Athenians or those old Romans.  In both of those historic cases, the diatribe had been unfounded. History unfolded in a fairly propitious vein for both those old Greeks and the old Romans in spite of the dramatic insistence that it wouldn't.

Albuquerque may not be so blessed.  For starters, we find ourselves and our critique rudely dispatched from the matter of "shoes," and coarsely foisted instead into other, more gravely serious issues of these discouraging developments which are only now beginning to descend upon us.

MeanMesa intends to present our own vision of these dismal and disturbing  civic abnormalities in three nutritious, easily digested segments following this high class, historically based introduction.  Of course, as is our habit here at MeanMesa's Galactic Headquarters, we will also propose a solution.

The general organization will be as follows:

Part One: The Problem
Part Two:  A "Concept" of the Solution
Part Three: Some Specifics

Please pay Short Current Essays with a commitment for continuing visits as we ramble through a cold and chilling assessment of the problem and propose a rather radical idea of a social response.  Dismal eschatologies have never been "daily specials" on our menu of new ideas, but, in this case, some serious "fact finding" and "fact facing" may be just what the doctor ordered.

In any event, our series will offer a soothing, narcotic relief from the pundits' endless drivel about the Gulf oil disaster.

Join MeanMesa for the "whole hog plus the postage!"

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