This Historian’s Theory of Chaos

Yesterday I had one of the strange afternoons of analyzing the collection of things I learned during the week.  In Friday’s “Pro-Soviet Films” history class with Dr. Thomas Stearns, we watched a documentary about Dalton Trumbo.  For those of you unfamiliar with who he is, he was one of the original “Hollywood Ten” during the McCarthy era “Red Scare” when HUAC did extensive government inquiries about Soviet subversion in our country, focusing on Hollywood and its films.  There was this short narrative by Donald Sutherland in this documentary about Trumbo’s work “Johnny Got His Gun.”  This piece of literature/film was an anti-war piece.  I found the narrative moving, and it spoke to me.  I’ve added the link so you, the reader can hear it.

Donald Sutherland put out there that Trumbo got it right when he wrote “Johnny Got His Gun.”  He said in a nutshell, that Trumbo understood it more than most people.  Trumbo’s work reflected his thinking that if the younger generation knew what the plan was concerning them being sent to war and their death, they wouldn’t do it.  They were the future of the world, and no one wants to kill the future. No one wants to kill another human being trying to make it in this life just like everyone else.  And Sutherland said that what Trumbo stressed is that there are those in high places who want to obscure this truth by telling us that in our hearts we are really fighting for something else, and they masked it with nationalism and  the pretense that it was all for Democracy.

I can’t tell you why that hit me so hard yesterday, but it did.  I guess it’s because I feel the same way about war.  I don’t know why it has to happen.  I don’t understand why this world is filled with so much Chaos, and people are dying for it, especially little children.  Have we allowed our moral sense to vacate us?  Are we pretending that we are fighting for a great cause, when in reality we don’t really understand it ourselves?  Have we, the whole world,  forgotten to have compassion and love? Do we like our Chaos more so than peace?

I analyzed the things going on today, and surmised that the whole world is being stretched, like a large rubber band.  The hurrying and stress has overtaken us, and we are being pulled and pulled.  Things seem to be careening so out of control and moving at such a rapid pace, that we humans don’t know how to keep up with it.  It’s like a merry-go-round that goes faster and faster, until it just spins off its center.  Chaos is taking control and stretching that rubber band far past the point it can be stretched.  The merry-go-round is spining so fast, people are flying off!

School shootings, the uprise of teen suicide, the wars,  the soldier who just killed 16 civilians, many of them children, for seemingly no purpose – all examples of being stretched too far.  Soon it will be time for that rubber band to break.  What then?  What will happen then?


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