The Worst of Times

Tricks and TreacheryIn A Tale of Two Cities, an 1869 novel by Charles Dickens that was set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution, he wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

Are we, in the United States, now experiencing the worst of times, the age of foolishness, the season of darkness, and the winter of despair? It sometimes seems that way to me. I view the times we’re going through right now as treacherous times and times that may lead, possibly before this year is over, to the second American Revolution. A potentially violent revolution.

But I am a white male. My perspective may be colored by my race and heritage.

Are these times as treacherous for black Americans as they were in the days of slavery?

Are these times as treacherous for Native Americans as they were in the days of Manifest Destiny?

Are there times as treacherous for Asian Americans as they were in the days of internment camps during World War II?

Are these times as treacherous for Muslim Americans as they were in the days shortly after 9-11?

Are these the worst of times for American women?

Are these the worst of times for Hispanic Americans, for Jewish Americans, for Catholic Americans, for Italian Americans, for Irish Americans?

In the scheme of things, these are probably not the worst of times for many Americans. Because, throughout the history of this country, many have suffered gravely.

But at the same time, if you take stock of what is happening in the United States today, it’s abundantly clear that these are far from the best of times. This is not the age of wisdom. This is not the age of enlightenment.

And unless we are willing to censure the blatant political corruption that has overtaken our society, unless we are willing to embrace true equality and begin to treat everyone, regardless of race, religion, national origin, and gender, with the same dignity, kindness, and respect with which we expect to be treated, we will continue to float, like that proverbial butterfly, toward the sweetly fragrant but deadly poisonous plant that seems to be growing wild across our nation.

It’s time to do better, America.


Written for the following prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (treacherous), The Daily Spur (stock), Your Daily Word Prompt (censure), Jibber Jabber (treat), Word of the Day Challenge (butterfly), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (plant).

32 thoughts on “The Worst of Times

    • Fandango July 10, 2020 / 12:51 pm

      Either the path to recovery or to another civil war. I hope it‘s the former and not the latter.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Mister Bump UK July 10, 2020 / 12:26 pm

    That’s progress. We can sometimes congratulate ourselves on how far we go, there is always more to do. The problem at the moment is that you’re going backwards.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 10, 2020 / 2:57 pm

      I did better with Dickens than I did with Victor Hugo’s Les Misérable.

      Like

      • James Pyles July 10, 2020 / 3:44 pm

        I remember reading Les Mis decades ago in my mid 20s when I lived in Berkeley. Don’t remember a thing about it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango July 10, 2020 / 4:29 pm

          I enjoyed the musical, though! (The stage production, not the movie.)

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marleen July 11, 2020 / 4:27 pm

            Stage production version is tremendous.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 10, 2020 / 3:00 pm

      I thought it was kind of depressing. What a horrible history the U.S. has when it comes to human rights.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn Armstrong July 10, 2020 / 2:56 pm

    This may not be the worst of times, but they are pretty bad. While they are arguing about whether we are going to get a stimulus package — like Social Security recipients are so wealthy! — and wondering if we’re going to be living in our car by winter … the EMOTIONAL sense of being hurt, damaged, humiliated, shocked … all of it and more … is definitely as bad as it gets. We may have had harder times, but the mental suffering this time around is excruciating.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. cagedunn July 10, 2020 / 3:10 pm

    Your post aims the point of the discussion right where it belongs — in the corruption and lack of oversight/vision/direction from the top. Everyone else takes what they DO as the way to BE.
    Actions speak loudest of all.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sue July 10, 2020 / 8:45 pm

    I enjoyed this one a lot. Especially your comparisons & perspective of different races/cultures & what they have faced. Hopefully, things take a turn toward the best of times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 10, 2020 / 10:49 pm

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it. I, too, hope things start getting better soon before it’s too late, if it’s not already too late.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 10, 2020 / 10:52 pm

      Yes. What a shame that we have fallen so far so fast. I never realized how fragile our democracy was.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Melanie B Cee July 11, 2020 / 9:15 am

    Well put Fandango. One seemingly insurmountable obstacle to ‘doing better” IS, though, people willing to TRY. In all the phases of ‘dark’ times, most of the people sat around moaning about how dark it was, but damned if they’d try to light a candle. Thanks for being one who isn’t afraid to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 11, 2020 / 1:20 pm

      I appreciate you comment, Melanie. I feel like I should do more than just post words.

      Like

  6. Marleen July 11, 2020 / 4:39 pm

    I really appreciate your post, Fandango. I have recently been in a [sort of] conversation with a “conservative” so-called pastor. I’m sickened to my stomach — again. He talks like a white supremacist/fascist but, of course, doesn’t think he is one.

    And he thinks “the” worst lie, of late, is that fascism is right-wing.

    The Philosophy of Antifa — Philosophy Tube

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen July 11, 2020 / 4:45 pm

      Or says things to indicate he doesn’t think he is one. Certainly, he could be a liar who is enlisted in the KKK (or something kkk-adjacent).

      “Interestingly”… immediately after the string of topics he put out there (to which I responded and in which he sometimes allowed my comments through and sometimes didn’t), he started a topic blasting a Jewish Messianic leader [one who I don’t happen to be familiar with at all]. Quite “curious” to say the least.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 11, 2020 / 11:33 pm

      Thanks, Marleen. I honestly cannot speak to anyone who is a Trump supporter.

      Like

      • Marleen July 13, 2020 / 3:28 pm

        He claims that he’s not a Trump supporter and that he isn’t political — in that he hates both parties — but favors the right (said to be not political), except for the “leftist traitors“ in the right (the left being evil). Of course, he was against Hillary and relieved (not political) to get Donald. As a grown adult and supposed pastor or leader, there is something dishonest or simply evil at a deeper level in refusing to see that anything can be wrong with what you call the right. Is it credible for there to be such ignorance of the world or naiveté in a man I’d guess to be around sixty?

        I’ll throw in an answer. I think it is theoretically possible. I also think there could be some good in said naïveté, but not if one is EVER going comment on global or national affairs. And that would include never speaking of “left” and “right” as if they have any meaning for you.

        I know this isn’t a Fandango area, but I’d go further. He is disqualified from being a “pastor” and must be marginally viewed as a studier of words on a page. (I won’t go into it, but he showed himself not to be up to that task on a trustworthy level either.)

        His oversimplification reminds me, a bit, of the nuns who would knock my dad on his hands with a piece of wood (or a ruler or yard stick) for being left handed and writing with his left hand. (No, the particular man misleading if leading at all is not Catholic.)

        I’ve been picking out these videos (one above and the one I’ll include below) after the fact (and wouldn’t even try to share them there). I’ve come to these conclusions on my own from observation (of reality rather than hiding from it). Yet, I enjoy helpful presentations.

        Brett Kavanaugh is a Terrible Judge, a Liar, and Republicans Don’t Care

        [This is from before when Brett was confirmed (while the first time I ever saw this presentation was today and the first time I saw any of this person’s presentations was yesterday), but is maybe about as succinct [not to be confused with definitively the best) a review as there can be. Unlike him, many people comment on this subject without having experienced or viewed all or the whole of any of the proceedings and only having their feelings (or other people’s feelings to whom they outsource their thinking) about the subject matter (or most subject matters) to go on. {And what do they say when you point out that this majority conservative court has made decisions they should be against on their own (* “the right’s” own) main claimed moral? Nothing… then you get to a new thread and they just start the cycle of rhetoric over again. *You’re not supposed to notice.} Now, by the way, this whole matter, as real as it is, served as a distraction from the civil liberties concerns of citizens both left and right (and I don’t believe there are only two groupings but that’s an aside) with regard to this nominee and his judicial record. I wonder if that was intentional; I tend to think it was. As the senators could have looked further into this topic, there was nothing really stopping them from additionally looking into the other. Plus more, if they wanted.]

        Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen July 13, 2020 / 6:26 pm

      [FOX’s top-rated] Tucker Carlson’s Racist Writer EXPOSED

      It’s become fashionable on the right to disavow of FOX. But
      Donald Trump is a fan of Tucker Carlson and others there…
      to the point of getting policy and affirmation from those folks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fandango July 13, 2020 / 10:09 pm

        Trump is the made for TV president.

        Like

      • Marleen July 14, 2020 / 2:43 pm

        Tucker … steps down [temporarily? after tepid non-apology/blame-shifting]

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Carol anne July 12, 2020 / 9:42 pm

    I agree! Time to do better, in ireland, too! Its not just america where things are going so wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

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