This Land Was Made for You and Me

This land is your land. This land is my land. From California. To the New York island. From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters. This land was made for you and me.

Belief and the meaning of words. If you were 21 years old, you heard a lot of discussion in your lifetime about the meaning of words. By presidents. One president told the nation he had never had “sex” with that woman. The next president struggled with the word “torture.”

The news media likes to purport that their job in news was to try to present all sides of an issue. The ones presented on a silver platter by spin doctors, anyway.

Torture: Last week there was a show on National Public Radio. About their use of the word “torture.” NPR doesn’t refer to waterboarding as “torture.” Instead NPR News uses the term “enhanced” or “harsh interrogation techniques” rather than “torture” to describe a tactic known as waterboarding, like collaborators in a coverup.

Meaning. Words. Like torture. In this society ultimately we vote for what we believe to be the truth . . . Truth defined by words. Etymology was the study of wordistry.

And so that last Pew survey. The connection of “Generation Next” and that last Pew survey. Kids who had grown up in the most affluent times ever in human history. Under Clinton. Under Bush. The youngest generation’s level of religious commitment is currently lower than any other age cohort’s. So what was their connection concerning morality?

The void. What would be filled in over time by these people — the kids who had grown up under Clinton, under Bush. After hearing all of the wordistry, who did not really believe in anything. Except the technology.

So that last Pew survey. About a generation’s level of religious commitment to morality, concerning clear guidelines about good and evil. About sex and fertility. Over life and death. Like over torture . . . forced famine . . . Crucifixions . . .Holocausts? About real live torture? It was a bit scary. What was the connection of leaders, if not leadership, in the most affluent times ever in human history, to the next generation?

The Haunted. Those post war days. Those days after the collapse of a system. Like in the republics of the post Soviet Unions. Looking for meaning. Of life. In children. In babies.

Belief. Russia’s demographic problem was the dwindling Russian birth rate. There are extremely high mortality rates among Russian men aged 20 to 40, with birth rates falling to West European levels. Reporter Nikita Mironov wrote how Russian women cry that there aren’t any men. Paul Goble, a specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia, comments in Window on Eurasia about the Nikita Mironov article in “Komsomolskaya Pravda.” Combined with the sky-high mortality rates among Russian men, the birthrate in Russia has fallen over the last 40 years to well below the replacement level of 2.15 children per woman per lifetime. The Russian demographic problems include extremely high mortality rates among Russian men of child-bearing age — rates largely the result of alcohol consumption and drug abuse, which are putting the brakes on any increase in fertility rates. According to Nikita Mironov, of the 22 million men aged 20 to 40, 2.5 million are drug addicts, 2.1 million are registered alcoholics, and 700,000 more are in prison. With no mention how alcoholics are blocked from fathering a baby, Nikita Mironov concludes that 5.3 million potential fathers of 22 million are not as available for fatherhood. Then there are the unregistered alcoholics. The statistics seem to support his conclusion. Nikita Mironov “If in the West, women do not want to give birth in order to live as they want, Russian women cry with one voice, ‘There aren’t any men.’”

Belief. That this land was your land. This land was my land. From St. Petersberg to Vladivostok. Or from California. To the New York Island. When California was now essentially bankrupt. However it had happened.

Etymology was a bit scary. So was that last Pew survey about the sense of belonging. A language which conveyed a sense of belonging. As a people made the attempt to pass on that culture. In the stories and song about the sense of belonging. Here. Through fertility.

In life, those joyful mysteries were inevitably followed by the sorrowful ones. The comedy. The tragedy. Until you came to accept it all. Acceptance was about celebrating meaning. Those glorious mysteries which came out of the search for meaning which came out of words.

For the land which WAS and IS made for you and me.

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