I guess I’ve been avoiding thinking about it, but in truth I approached the hundredth anniversary of WWI with immense dread.
It was a summer very much like this one, in fact. The kind of weather young couples go out in, or you might go to the seaside and feel recharged. I keep thinking every firework I hear will be the shit hitting the fan because it feels a little too nice; it’s casting a dark shadow over my summer.
The fair weather, I know, is a documented fact about the year 1914 and perhaps this is merely contributing to some uncomfortable suggestion. It could all be in my mind… but it remains real to me, and haunting.
My paranoia is stoked by the apparent memory of the shock it was when war broke out during a gorgeous summer. It’s stoked by the temperate climate here in the Northwest, so much like the West Country of England (there are hop fields and apple orchards just five minutes from me). It’s stoked by all the tension in our world.
It isn’t that I expect a total re-play of events but a sort of variation on the meme. The fact is, we’re in a very bad situation militarily: much of the world is not happy with us right now and we’re running out of money and friends. I’ve seen the desperation of world leaders put in a corner like that and I don’t like what that could lead to. And now, with our armies increasingly on the defensive, there is a very real chance that war could come to me or I’ll be dragged into it whether I want to or not.
There’s also the prospect of internal strife. Right now, tensions are running high; there are factions in this country that are calling openly for a military coup. This is starting to look an awful lot like the events leading up to “Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.”
Please… it’s a beautiful summer. Don’t let it end in war. If it comes to that then nothing will have changed in a century and I’ll have come back for nothing.