As you get older one of the things that you loose is your sense of innocence and wonder. Life burns into your heart and evaporates the child’s eye that we all are burnt with. Now of course the ageing process is relative and depends on how you life worked out so I am sure that a child growing up in a shanty town or refugee camp will loose their wonder a lot longer than me or my son. Nonetheless it goes and if you are lucky it is replaced by a sense of amazement: Amazement at just what humans can achieve when they work together and try and sort out some intractable problem, be it finding a cure for some disease or building some incredible structure of one form or another.
This brings me to this photograph. It was taken in 1999 when the Rock’n’roller ride at Walt Disney World (WDW) was brand new. In fact this was taken at a soft opening day so technically was before it was official ‘brand new’. My son loves these sort of rides and he spent much of the morning going around an on the side again and again as there were few other visitors at WDW who new that the ride was open. Eventually we pulled him off and continued our day at the park. Much has happened to the United States of America and Orlando since that day in 1999 and little of it has been for the better of either the city, country or world. We no longer live in a world of innocence and wonder and our sense of amazement is one where we are amazed at the latest senseless barbaric act. Orlando now is just the latest tombstone of that road, it surely won’t be the last. We in the outside world don’t understand the Stateside captivation with firearms and there undoubted connection with the slaughter of 1000’s of their fellow citizens. Whether these are ‘terrorist’ attacks or lone nutters is irrelevant to loved ones left behind. Equally, many of the citizens of the United States of America can’t understand our problems with the access to guns they have. In fact many see them as a guarantee to their freedoms from tyranny. Both side are amazed that the other doesn’t see their point of view – to add to the outside world’s amazement they want to elect Donald Trump president (Trump is the living embodiment of the word Demagogue) . Most of us outside the USA see this as bordering on madness. Innocents no more.
Of course 1999 wasn’t a great year for many humans of this world it was just seeing this photograph this morning made me realise just how far we have travelled in such a short amount of time. Next week we in Britain may decide to travel a new uncharted road, a road that I believe will make us worse off in so many ways, just because we are frightened by the way world is turning out and feel we can some how divorce ourselves without any consequences. In my view this is utter nonsense but I suspect there is a chance, how big a chance is impossible to say and anyone who does is plain lying, we will walk along that road. If we do then we will be greeted by Donald Trump who is taking time out from scaring the world to open one of his golf courses in Scotland the day after the vote. Maybe we got this global warming thing all wrong – it isn’t the planet that is getting hotter just us as we try and make sense of a world where the old certainties of hearth and home no longer make any sense at all.
Innocents no more.