Sep 7, 2022–I had an epiphany this week. While listening to the latest litany of theories and predictions about the next catastrophe facing society, I decided to turn to the past in order to predict the future. What did I learn?
See if you remember all these dire warnings…
- Remember when we ran out of oil and natural gas?
- Remember when the ozone had a hole in it and we all burned up?
- Remember when the population explosion made us turn on each other like Malthus’s rats?
- Remember when acid rain melted our skin?
- Remember when we all got radiation poisoning from atomic testing?
- Remember when when global cooling brought the mini-ice age in the 1970s?
- Remember when all our razor blades stayed sharp under a pyramid?
- Remember when sea levels rose and flooded the streets of Miami and New York?
- Remember when every glacier melted?
- Remember when we ran out of water?
Bad times. How did we ever get through them?
- Remember when all the topsoil eroded down the Mississippi River?
- Remember when the Amazon rain forest disappeared?
- Remember when wolves went extinct and we skinned the last buffalo?
I can hear readers yelling, “but some of those things didn’t happen because we took steps to prevent them!” Point acknowledged.
Then how about these?
- Remember when reading those newfangled “books” killed students’ ability to think? Socrates believed that.
- Remember when radio killed reading?
- Remember when television killed radio?
- Remember when VCRs killed the movie industry?
- Remember when desktop publishing killed the printing industry?
- Remember when playing video games turned a generation into zombies?
- Remember when robots put everyone out of work?
- Remember when airplanes fell out of the sky and all the computers crashed?
- Remember when Rock and Roll music brought about the downfall of civilization?
- Remember when prepared food made no one ever want to cook again?
Today you can’t turn on the TV without suffering through some violent contrived chef competition.
Many truisms, old wives’ tales, and maxims are outright lies:
- If you cross your eyes, they’ll stay that way.
- If you read in the dark, you’ll ruin your eyes.
And some other things I know you are thinking about right now.
Some of the most egregious liars are the “experts.” Try to keep these recommendations straight:
- Eating eggs will kill you. Eating eggs is good for you.
- Coffee makes you nervous. Coffee gives you energy.
- Milk is nature’s most perfect food. Drinking milk is bad.
- Aspirin eats your stomach lining. Aspirin prevents stroke.
- Eliminate all fat from your diet to lose weight. Eliminate all carbs from your diet to lose weight.
- Eating meat gives you high-cholesterol. Eating meat provides essential protein.
- Drinking wine increases longevity. Drinking any alcohol shortens your life.
- Running ruins your knees. Running strengthens your bones and joints.
When I moved to Texas I learned another “truth” was a lie: It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.
I’m sorry. When it’s hot, it is the heat. I miss humidity, or any type of moisture, for that matter.
Another Texas Truism that Isn’t:
People in the South don’t know how to drive in snow.
Here’s the truth: No one knows how to drive in snow. It is not possible.
I can show my Midwest friends endless photos of cars sliding off their interstates every winter.
My advice? Wisely, I offer none.