Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
where i lived before, in hawaii during the mid 70's and till the end of the 80's, there was a high birthrate, many people i knew, often poor, popped out 3 or 4 kids, and though i wish the general level of health awareness had been a lot higher,(never seen so many little 2 year-olds with metal front first and second teeth replaced with metal, from being put to sleep sucking on sodas all year round) the sense of fertility was palpable all around, but not entirely in a 3rd world way.

after all, pre-industrial hawaii had supported far higher native populations, without matson liners arriving loaded with junkware to fill the groaning shelves of the mall-sprawls, where acres of quickmart, next to jolly mart, next to walmart, next to whatever, each with an aircraft hangar size space to exhibit the flashy packaging and screaming ads, sprouted, each just out of the dying town centres, impossible practically to reach on foot.

sorry, ranted off there.

the big island had 400,000 inhabitants, until european common cold and such exotic virii laid many to waste, tha locals' environment being so pure, their immune systems were lacking in any antibodies other than those needed before the charles cook arrived.

here in italy there are almost no children around....

i know it's pc and all, but it hits me like an episode of the twilight zone, and i worry about the psychological effects of seeing so little fertility.

as the young parents on this board know well, kids lighten up life like nothing else, and while i applaud the rationality viz a viz planetary resources, i wonder sometimes why it feels so sad, and even sinister to think about this trend continuing.

i have wondered if it's a con that we can't support even double the population foodwise, if distribution were made more fairly and compassionately, and the corporations have sold us a line because they know peeps save more when they have families, and therefore aren't continuing to stir the soup of consumerism like crazed marionettes, all the more crazed because there aren't more kids around to keep them sane and real.

many speculate why italy, where motherhood has been traditionally venerated to sometimes alarming (!) proportions, should so suddenly decide post war to become the least reproductive of any '1st world' societies...'it's selfish', scold the old nonnas, 'who will take care of you when you're old?'

sure some of these attitudes stem from pre-pension times, when a much higher proportion of children did not live to be young adults, never mind old ones, and having only 1 or 2 kids was choosing very few baskets for your eggs...risky.

of course having your government change sticky hands almost as fast as a stripper changes costumes might ahave had something to do with it too, lol!

i shouldn't probably be so ethnocentric, but i find it a tad sad to see a continent committing slow racial suicide, even with impeccable logic,(which my comments do certainly NOT have, lol!)

is this my inner racist?

i ahve a 90-year old client i massage, and she is so lucid and amusing it always cheers me up enormously to let myself go under her spell.

being that old is heroic, imo, and living old age with joy and serenity, doubly so.

 maybe we'll relearn the respect old age should be due, though all too often so sadly isn't, and find some of the innocence of childhood through caring better for those whose adventure is coing to a close.

learning to listen between the lines of what they say to what they're really saying is an art, (just like with kids!) and it seems we may be getting a whole lot of practice in it these next decades.

seems half the jobs in the help wanted columns here are for help looking after old folks....

is it a weird form of collective self-hatred, perhaps only as a metaphor?

or are we just knackered from the two biggest wars in history still?

or ashamed of the shadow side of our heritage...

time to move over and let rover take over?

couldn't happen to the continent that invented and practiced eugenics, could it?

karma's a 'just for asians' thingy, yup...

very mixed feelings, doubtless reflecting the confusion in the public sphere about immigration right now, and free movement across state lines, sorry if i went on a bit much.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 08:41:02 PM EST

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