What with an epidemic of earthquakes, volcanic activity and disastrous oil spills (and, not to forget, climate change and national economies and back-stabbing political parties in tatters), I almost lost sight of the fact that this is also a joyous time of college graduations, high school proms and graduations, and teenagers both partying and driving badly -- for the last time ever, in some tragic cases.
As far as the eye can see, catastrophe seems commonplace: A paucity of good jobs for graduates; graduates who can neither read, spell nor add; illegal immigrants (rock on, Arizona, good for you!) and Islamic extremists with mayhem on their minds (our U.S. attorney general can't even bear to call them what they are, preferring instead to dance around the fitting words, Islamic terrorists, when questioned by Congress).
As I write this today, a radio broadcast blares with news about a new scientific study linking pesticides in food to attention deficit disorder (not that it's ever a good idea to spray lawns with pesticides, either, because kids, pets and wildlife are obviously an unintended target of this variety of better-living-through-chemicals -- but is this truly a surprise?).
What else. . .oh yeah, and divorces account for terminating more than one in two marriages now, all because of relationships endured by people who promised to love and cherish one another "forever," and instead end their blissful togetherness in fights, spousal homicide or murders of one's own children (if abused children don't take out mom or dad first). Not to mention the up-and-coming troubled or bored teens consistently plotting to blow up their schools, when just hoping to eradicate bullies or personal demons isn't quite enough.
Well, I thought this would be an appropriate opportunity to remind one and all not to worry to excess about these current, potential and ongoing natural/unnatural disasters. Remember: The dinosaurs probably thought their offspring were the hungry future, too (and don't bother hiding under the covers, under the bed or under anything handy -- when that Big Rock Candy Mountain in the sky arrives, it's all over, and all that stuff your mom said about wearing clean underwear in case you get hit by a bus and rushed to a hospital need not be a highlight of your daily lives).
Yes, young folk, if you must panic over something -- and who shouldn't these days? -- choose the fear of giant asteroids, those uncommon, yet in-your-face equal opportunity annihilators of the universe. Sooner or later, like census takers, they're sure to stop by to crash the party, albeit without drugs, alcohol or iPods.
So have fun, kids, and don't worry about the little things! You are the future, and all the growing horrors of the future are yours to embrace! At least, um, for a while.