Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Noir's Children : the teenagers who MADE Mo go Po

Noir's Children (my particular birth cohort of 1940-1956) those of us born 'after the Fall of France but before the Rise of Elvis' - were virtually unique in being perfectly comfortable living inside TWO whales .

Those two whales being the Modernity (Mo) of our childhood and early teen years and the emerging Post Modernity (Po) of our late teen years and early adult years.

We still remain unique in this regard - we are old enough to remember believing in our elders' tattered Modernity but with minds not so rigidly formed we couldn't also take on the attributes of an emerging Post-Modernity - which was the only reality our younger siblings ever knew first hand.

My cohort did not just feel the transition from one era to another : we were that transition.

Modernity only died when it failed to reproduce itself in its young

For it was our failure to carry on the ideas of Modernity as we matured that condemned Modernity to a slow sad certain death as our  still-faithful elders died off, one by one.

Why our post WWII birth cohort - and not any earlier birth cohorts - came to reject the centuries-old Enlightenment Project is the subject of this blog and of my book projects .

And like many exciting things, it all begins in wartime Gotham  - where the reigning American Super Hero was not the comic books' Superman, Batman or Captain America but rather a squat balding middle aged Dutch-Swiss-American called Carl Norden.

His invention , a bombsight that was claimed to unerringly drop a bomb into a pickle barrel from three miles up - was going to end the war ( even end all wars) quickly, cheaply and with minimum loss of civilian lives.

As a result, the British and American governments of the day in 1940 saw no need for spending serious amounts of taxpayers' monies on either atomic bomb or penicillin development.

In their experts' eyes, the atomic bomb was serious overkill (literally) and life-saving penicillin, rather like old fashioned infantry riflemen, wasn't really going to be needed in a short modern war of minimum casualties.

The best laid plans .....

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