Bewildering Stories Editorial
by Jerry Wright
An ancient Chinese sage spake the aphorism, "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." A journey down a slippery slope starts with a single step also. The comment was made on the BWS forum that, "I just don't see that the Artest brawl as that new nor anything approaching the end of civilization." Quite true. In some ways. A group of millionaire/thugs climbing into the stands IS something new, however, but by itself means little.
It is simply another marker, a signpost up ahead... I've been reading again. I know, I should stop before I hurt myself, but it IS a terrible addiction. Right now I'm reading L.E. Modesitt's The Ethos Effect. Modesitt's books often make my head hurt. The thought and philosophical underpinnings in so many of his stories are very deep.
Parts of this book are excerpts from a future treatise called Values, Ethics, and Society wherein Modesitt, as the putative author says:
Although all stable societies rest firmly on a consensus of values, invariably the individuals in those societies prefer not to discuss those values, except in "glittering generalities", not because they are unimportant, but because they are so important that to discuss them seriously might open them to question and reinterpretatation. The the very protections of a society's values precludes any wide-scale and public reevaluation of those values and any recognition of a potential crisis of values.As my six year old grandson says, "Are we there yet?"
Since "morality" is the sum total of those values, the first public symptom of a crisis of values is usually a series of comments about the growing immorality of society--almost always directed at the young of a society who have absorbed what their elders are in fact doing, rather than professing...
Copyright © 2004 by Jerry Wright for Bewildering Stories