So, I’ve been thinking about something for a while.  And a video on Youtube that I saw kind of reaffirmed it…in a roundabout kind of way.  This  is a LONG one…  Read on after the jump…

The Russian band Unreal’s Newtype is a freaking bizarre and epically badass music video (the singers are somewhat lacking and unfitting at times, but it works).  Anyway, looking at this, it’s an awesome space battle scene worthy of Star Wars, Space: Above and Beyond, Battlestar Galactica, so on and so forth.  For the sci-fi junkie, it’s a bit of of chocolate flavored crack.  It’s a bit anime in the scope of things.

But, read the lyrics, because not a damned one of you speak Russian, I know this…  Read the lyrics.  20-30 years ago, this same song would have been considered hardcore propoganda for the Soviet machine.  How many pop songs do you hear singing about eternal wars, eliminating the enemy, NAPALM, so on a so forth…  This would have been epic Cold War food for the Soviet people.  AND that’s where the mental link came in…

I spent the end of last week looking into the Chernobyl accident.   I can’t remember what made me think of it, but anyway, whatever mental  train of thought I was on at the time led me there.  It was interesting to read the events that came of it, and from it.  It was a devastating accident that I hope never touches the Earth again, but with a world full of lazy asses and crazed lunatics, you can almost guarantee it.  Back on point…  I was looking up on Youtube, trying to find news blurbs from the U.S. in regards to the accident.  What information was leaked  out across the Cold War enemies, because I don’t remember.  I really wish I did, but I absolutely don’t recall anything about it.  Truth be told, I couldn’t even remember when it was for the longest time.  I was too busy worrying about trying to get this or that G.I. Joe figure, worrying about how the Reds were doing, or why the hell I was unable to get a complete set of baseball cards from buying the single packs.  These were the issues that plagued me…  Give me a break, I wasn’t even 9 at the time.  Not some pissy stalemate of superpowers, not people getting coated in a layer of cancer causing radioactive cloud…  So, years later when I heard about it, I thought, Oh man…  That had to suck (I’m a master of understatement at times), that HAD to have happened before I was born.  WRONG. But back to the news briefs, it was interesting what information was let out by the Soviet media.  The only reason any information was released was because Sweden picked up radioactive hits on their geiger counters.  Even then, the USSR’s statement was a “Slight accident, but under containment”.  So as to not let the world know that their shoddy and corner-cutting Nuclear program wasn’t incompetent or up to the snuff as that of the free world.  Controlled media.  Man, if it wasn’t for North Korea and China, we’d have forgetten what controlled media really was about.  In watching the news clips, I stumbled onto Year in Reviews from CNN.  The year was 1986…  The two huge news stories of the year, the Challenger explosion, and US-foreign relations.  I’m finally getting around to the real point of this… 

Back in the 80’s (really, the post-WWII on until the 90’s), you KNEW WHO YOUR ENEMY WAS.  It was the other guy.  The dude under the different flag.  The Communists (or, for the Commies, it was the Capitalists).  There was no question.  Sure, there was uprisers like Libya and other terrorist cells, but no one liked them, and that was okay, because neither of the superpowers really felt too threatened by them unless it was an airlines hijacking. But it  always felt like they were more annoyances than threats.  No, the big concern was the other guy. And that other guy was just as strong, just as determined, more mean, more vicious, and ready to do anything to get their way, and spread THEIR influence.  So we had to counter in.

And in countering it, it led to some amazing and interesting discoveries, accomplishments (of both wonder and sheer terror), and designs.  Our military might was built on being better and more advanced than the other guy.  Developments in weapon technologies and military mobility reached it’s highpoint during the Cold War.  Our Space program advanced on the sole spite of another country.  Everything we did was to “beat the ‘Russkies'”.  An enemy, a common enemy helped push our country into developing bigger, better, faster and more, not out of want, but out of a need…fear.  Fear that we may be second best, fear that some baby-eating monster was going to come in and change our way of life.  This fear motivated our drive to put out amazing results, and (maybe more importantly) have the financial backing of the government to go that extra mile, to not cut corners ourselves, to result in some of the most advanced scientific achievements to date. 

There was also another achievement that was brought on by this big, bad enemy.  That was of aid.  Our ‘ability’ to aid other countries played a big role in the chess match between Capitalists and Communists.  We sent out aid packages in the efforts to get that country’s either support over Communism, to drive their Communist advances out, or an attempt to get a shot at whatever that country produced.  And we could pat ourselves on the backs before we went to bed each night.  It was a bit dirty and underhanded, but assistance was put out there (whether it made it to the people or not is a different story). I’m sure Russia  could play that card, too, that they were ‘helping’ their republics by some aid and protection from the bad Capitalists, granted, everything that we’ve seen FROM THIS SIDE leads us to believe that not a whole lot of anything was given, but much was taken.  There had to be political spin on it on their side, you know there was.

Having a big, bad, mean enemy drove us to do things that normally, we wouldn’t have been able to do.  Both in technology advances and even assistance to other countries.  It was a scary time, don’t get me wrong.  The feeling  that at any time, someone sneezing at the wrong time, could start WWIII, or even worse, mutual annihilation of both sides, and everyone in between.  I do remember some of the fear of the other guy pushing the red button to send ballistic missiles up and over the north pole, to come crashing down on all of us.  I never felt it was a constant fear, but it was something in the back of our minds.  Something to motivate us to make sure we were that much better than the other guy.  But mostly, I remember, it was competition.  We had to be better.  We had to beat them.

Now, now that the big dogs have all sat around and publically held hands and kissed and made up (at least, in the public eye…), there’s not that drive.  Sure, China at one point tried to take over that role, but it never really stuck as we do so much business with them.  North Korea’s as close as we can get to the other guy, but they seem so small and distant, that even though it’s the same scenario, no one pays attention to the crazy ass who basically cuts off all communication to the outside world.  Hell, the first time an outsider attacked our country since the Revolution isn’t the other guy, because technically, he doesn’t have a flag, so we can’t just go and bomb the shit out of them.  We don’t have a bad guy, we don’t have a the other guy, we don’t have a counterforce to keep a drive alive. 

I originally said the Internet took our bad guys away is because the internet is full of communication.   The job of the Internet is to communicate.  And in a world that is today, we can communicate with damned near anyone.  Former villains are now our chat buddies and facebook friends. If there’s any shooting going on between the people from these former enemy countries, it’s on the XBox, PS3 or PC.  We’ve become free to discuss whatever we want with damned near whomever we chose, wherever they may be.  I personally had a GREAT online chat friend from Iran.  She was funny, and communication may have been odd at times, but at the same time,  it was interesting and engaging.  Friends of mine and I routinely e-mail and chat to people in China for the latest action figure news (specifically, ironically enough, we are hunting for Real American Heroes in China…).  The Internet’s brought the world together like nothing else ever has.  And it’s amazing.  it’s an awesome thing.  To have the ability to engage personally with someone from a different culture is a golden and wonderous thing.  We’re fortunate to be able to enjoy the fruits of the Internet in that regard.  It’s also help make the world have a global economy.  I work for a German country.  My German country enjoys doing business with China and Brazil (their labor system is something to question, but hey, Americans, we go for the bottom dollar, huh?).  My  German company has offices all over the world.  We interact daily all over the world, most of the time, instantaneously, to make sure that we get the most money coming in with the least money going out, so our stockholders can go buy their Starbucks coffee that day.

That’s awesome!  That’s great news!  So what’s the problem? 

Now that we’re all cute and cuddly and squishy with one another, we don’t have that the other guy.  We don’t have the bad guy, the guy that’s going to come in and take what we have from us.  It might be a lone radical, but we can’t fault an entire religion for that (Lord knows that Christians have had their rowdy bunch…), but a lone radical is so much harder to find than a chunk of land on a map.  We (rightfully) can’ just go and bomb a country because some freak went apeshit.  …we’d have to bomb the shit out of ourselves if that was the case.  It leads us to a confused lot.  We don’t have the drive to protect ourselves from the other guy, because there really is no the other guy for us right now.  We don’t have the governmental backing to go out there and do the best, so they can’t get the best of us.  Instead, we’re so worried about us eating us up from the inside, that we don’t have the time to wonder if there’s another the other guy out there coming up.  We’ve gotten so self-secure that we’re untouchable, that it’s not even a thought now.  Sit there and think about what your concerns are.  I bet nowhere in your mind is your concern about some big superpower coming in to take over and change your way of life.  Your main concern is, ‘Crap, man…will I have a job and income at the end of this week?  You know, and it’s not a bad thing to not have to question foreign invasion.  I’d be concerned for you if that was your main concern, really.  But the fact remains…  There’s no counterforce.  There’s no ‘if we don’t, they will, and they’ll get ours.’   This doesnt lead to a unified force to get something done.  It doesn’t allow for a national focus.  We don’t have the drive that we had at one point, because we don’t need to.  Not really, anyways.  Instead, in terms of national security, we’re spread all over the world hunting down radicals who do damage, but don’t play by the same rules that we typically play under (I said typically…).  We’re not out there working, creating and designing “So the radicals won’t beat  us to it…”  Our country’s kind of ‘Meh’ on it, at best. 

I guess, to sum up…  It just feels like we don’t have the collective drive of an “Us versus Them” atmosphere, and it makes us lazy and retards the drive for us to create.  Hypocritically, I’m glad that we don’t have that big, bad boogeyman that could take it away from us.  I like the fact that we can bullshit, play internet games and such with people from Russia and China.  It’s AWESOME that we can express different viewpoints without coming to physical actions.  Not  that it’s all honky dorry for us all, not by any stretch.  But the common peasants like I and most of you can relax as we discuss why our models and actresses are hotter than their models and actresses. But man, it really would be kind of nice to have that counterforce as a drive, to make us churn out some cool stuff again, and to drive  a space program further than ever before.

Man…that was windy as fuck.  I’ve kind of been paying attention to the Cold War years of the world off and on for a while now, and have gotten into discussion with my friend Jason on it from time to time.  No, South, I am NOT A PINKIE COMMIE.  Welp, my blog, my thoughts, as wrong and half-thought out as they may be, so you’re gonna have to suffer through it.  Sorry for the long ass post.