Monday, October 24, 2011

The Arrival of the Age of Aquarius

A few decades ago (its hard to believe it has been more than 40 years) there was a very popular song, "The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius," which spoke of an age of piece, harmony and understanding.

You can listen to the song on this You Tube Video:

The song made it debut in the 1967 musical hit "Hair" at a time when the war in Viet Nam was raging and American streets and neighborhoods were on fire fueled by both the opposition to the war and the continuing civil rights battles. It was a time when many longed for peace, but there were few signs that a new age of peace and understanding was actually dawning.

Fast forward to the present and the average American would say we're still pretty far removed from an age of peace, harmony and understanding. Wars are still being faught in Afghanistan and Iraq. The whole arab middle east is in turmoil throwing off military dictators but morn likely than not voluntarily shackling themselves to radical muslim clerics. Across the globe cities are racked with protests and streets are on fire from the acts of those who are disenchanted with modernity but whose goals are not well defined.

Sometimes it feels as if the whole world has gone mad and that chaos reigns. But amidst all the public protests and the wars that have exhausted even the most hawkish of Americans there is another side to the story. In the Houston Chronicle last week there was a report of a recent scientific study which found that the feeling we are surrounded by chaos and war and protest on every side is more the product of the 24/7 news television news machine than the product of anything real.

According to the study, all crime rates are down in the United States and throughout much of the world. Violent crimes are down particularly. And while wars are being faught in several places around the world, the study confirms that the world is more at peace than at any time in the past. While we hear much about crime and violence and wars in the never ending new cycles, crime and violence and wars are actually becoming less and less the reality.

Local statistics support the studies assertions. Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States. The economy of the city is in bad shape as is the economy of the nation and the world. In such times crime usually rises but that is not happening. Crime rates are actually falling and violent crime rates are plummeting in Houston, but also in American cities where major crimes have long been a problem.

When I look around me, I see that even in today's economic catastrophe, most of my friends are not only working but doing well. That includes even my gay friends. Four of my gay friends who were living deep in the closet ten years ago are now living openly as partnered gay men. They have good jobs and their bosses don't give a damn that they are gay. Two of them are church members and attend services regularly in accepting congregations. Out of the four, all but one enjoys the support and love of their families.

On the national level the news is much the same for gays. The United States armed services has ended DADT over the last few weeks. In reality it was just the formal end to a program that had ceased to be of any consequence. My own son is career military and a commander. He has always told me he knows full well who the gay men and women are in his command, but he doesn't give a damn what they do on their own time as long as they do their job when they are on the job.

It seems that when one really looks at the world around us objectively, harmony and understanding are ascending. One might say the age of Aquarius has in fact arrived.

Here in the United States we are already well into the campaign for the 2012 Presidential election. There are certainly partisans on each side of the political equation, but those who are honest with themselves admit that the hope and change many voted for in 2008 has not worked out as well as might have been hoped.

In spite of that there are positives. If it proved nothing else, the 2008 Presidential elections proved that in a real sense America has entered a post racial era. If President Obama is not elected for a second term it will not be because he is black. It will be because he has failed at leadership. Indeed one of his leading opponents at this time is a man who is himself black, yet enjoying wide support among even the most conservative whites.

While political bickering from the extreme right and the extreme left is getting all the headline attention in the 24/7 news cycle the story not being told is that the average American as he has always been is a political moderate just right of center and expects the country to be governed not from either extreme but from the middle through compromise.

For the first time in the history of its existence, even the radical Christian Right is beginning to see members fall away and close their pocketbooks as people are finally getting fed up on their message of hate and bigotry. In particular, young people are coming to the realization that no organized religion at all in their lives is better than one which preaches hate and the promise of God's wrath.

Maybe, just maybe we truly are living in the Age of Aquarius. Where people are judged on their merits and not on their skin color or who they have sex with. Perhaps we are entering an era when those are religious are known more for who they love that what they hate. Let us hope.

Jack Scott


  1. Yes, let us hope. And let's hope this world gets through the agony it's presently going through. When you look at the total picture, being gay [or bi] is the least of this world's problems, but people seem to be blind to that.

  2. Ain't it the truth Bob. It's kind of bad that being bi or gay got to be less of a problem because other problems simply got to the place they out weighed the problem of being bi or gay, but I agree with you. That's just about what has happened.

    Jack Scott

  3. Though the LGBT community has made great strides over the last decade, I think you are painting too rosy a picture. It is certainly true what you and the newspaper say about the 24/7 news, much of which is very biased.

    I think we have no business fighting any war in the Arab countries and should leave immediately; however, the Arab Spring will tear the area apart until the progressives get some democracy there.

    And then there is the state of the worldwide economy, which is mostly about the "haves" taking away all the money from the "havenots." I think you are seeing the same protest spirit in the "Wall Street demonstrations" that we saw back in the sixties. The protests will continue to get stronger until there is some resolution about the power hungry corporations with new regulations and some CEOs/COOs going to jail.

    I only wish that we have made as much progress in being civilized as you suggest, but I don't think that history has written that chapter yet.

  4. Uncutplus, Hey man thanks for your comment. Certainly, I intentionally overstated reality in suggesting that we had entered into an age of peace, understanding and liberation.

    Problem abound and they will always be in abundant supply into perpetuity. Just as there are still those who are racists, there will always be those who are bigots.

    As you point out, the turmoil in the middle east has entered a new and still worrisome stage.

    But the point of the study and the point of my blog piece is that the long term picture seems to have changed. And the study also suggests that because of the nature of people and things like the 24/7 news cycle we have failed to recognize that our perception of the world is no longer supported by the facts when looking at the over all picture and looking at the long term trends.

    I like the way Bob said it in his comment, "When you look at the total picture, being gay is the least of the world's problems."

    I think he's right.

    Thanks again for your comment.

    Jack Scott

  5. Thanks for this posting!

    Re your Age of Aquarius proposition, what distresses me the most, in the short term, is the TV talking heads' 24/7 boring, tedious chatter about the GOP's 2012 primary candidates~clowns, every one of them, so it appears!~for President. This country deserves more responsible & more intelligent journalism, it strikes me.

  6. Thanks for this posting!

    Re your Age of Aquarius proposition, what distresses me the most, in the short term, is the TV talking heads' 24/7 boring, tedious chatter about the GOP's 2012 primary candidates~clowns, every one of them, so it appears!~for President. This country deserves more responsible & more intelligent journalism, it strikes me.


I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott