Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Eleven years and about 7 months.
That's the answer to my last post's question about the equivalent developmental age of the U. S. of A.
Mina and I figured it out over a late night dinner and a nice bottle of Beaujolais. Of course, Mina's the psych expert in the house, but we figured we could use the equation of one human developmental year for about every twenty historical years. When it comes right down to it when we're talking America we're looking at a very young nation here, relative to most other empires current and has-been. You figure historically our country's 233 years old; in human years, the great U. S. of A is about the equivalent human age of... like I said, a prepubescent.
Let's say a prepubescent male, since the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment suggests the white males with property (and those under the influence) are still very much in charge.
So what do we know about boys that age? Well, they're not children entirely, but nowhere near grown-up either. Aren't much capable of thinking things through. Know there are consequences, but figure they can get around them when the time comes. Old enough to know the rules but they've usually put together you have more fun if you break 'em.
Fun's mostly still the name of the game, as defined by who wins. Big is good. Faster and noisier the better. Might is right, for all practical purposes. If you're a near twelve-year-old boy with a bit of power.
As for other boys, twelve-year-old males are still not entirely sure how to get along with them either. Most near twelve-year-olds think there's some kind of alpha-male system ordering the universe. They're trying to figure where they fit in. Starting to put together that the ones with the most swagger and the least conscience usually end up Top Dog. Such as goes for what looks like confidence, a certainty about how to get by in a rough world.
The nice guys stand around mostly confused about what to do and hoping the big boys don't notice them.
And girls? Well, they don't rate much where prepubescent boys are concerned. Not much use for them, yet. Maybe that explains the failure of the ERA.
Still, our U. S. of A. isn't entirely an alpha-male macho wannabe. More the kind of rich, entitled kid who tries to look like a goody-goody but is often up to no good when everyone's back is turned. Hasn't entirely developed a conscience yet. Thinks if it's good for him, it's good. Look at the history of the CIA in developing nations and you'll see what I mean.
Still, he's not entirely a bad kid, our boy. No kid starts out bad. But spoiled, rich kids - they're a whole other order. Usually it takes some kind of comeuppance to get their attention. Would've thought where the U. S. was concerned Sept. 11 would have done that. So maybe the kid just needs to grow up, start to put together that he who dies with the most toys still dies.
No, there's no equivalent of a Gandhi driving U. S. foreign or domestic policy right now. There's little boys, with their little minds, and too much power.
Eleven year old boys. When I was growing up, there was this one, Manuel King. Got written up because of his skills as a lion tamer.
Ended up being in a flick, "Darkest Africa."
Don't know what happened to him after that.
'Course that was a different era, 1934. Don't want to go getting all nostalgic for the old days, though. Greed ruled same then as it does now.
And lording it over a captive beast is hardly ranked right up there with being Mahatma Gandhi.