The stream flowed into nineteen eighty-four, and the prophetic song, “Round and Round,” by Ratt. “What goes around, comes around. Dig.”
I was young when I encountered this. Working as the NCOIC of the 9AF Reports Section, I daily briefed the 9AF Commander and his senior staff on the preceding day’s operational activities. We were part of the now defunct Tactical Air Command, supervising fighter wings. 9AF included the area east of the Mississippi in the U.S., and Southwest Asia, often referred to outside military circles as the Middle East. This was during the Iran-Iraq War. They were all about reciprocity. Reciprocity is the essence of round and round. “You attack my shipping, I’ll attack your shipping.” So it went.
Sure. History repeats, doesn’t it? Especially in politics and war.
It also repeats on personal levels. Every year, I feel more like everything goes round and round. I get desperately tired of it. I frequently encounter people who seem to think what’s going around is being experienced for the first time. Others did not learn.
Yet, as I age, I understand, we can learn, but sometimes it’s beyond us to apply the lessons learned. We become too hard-wired into expectations and behavior developing from routines and rituals, fears and reactions, and failures and shortcomings. We’re looking for the end of the rainbow, and it stays elusively distant. Our bodies betray us, our minds betray us, and our memories betray us. Dreams fade, and goals collapse.
I’ve seen this in older generations, too. The latest craze becomes yesterday’s fad. Today’s star is tomorrow’s memory, and the next generation(s) are generally bemused by our quaint opinions about hip, cool, technology, and politics.
Round and round.