I’m like a lot of folks in that a song can trigger a flood of feelings and memories. I bought an old one that I dearly love that came out around 1991-1992 by Jesus Jones – “Right Here, Right Now.” (here’s the video if you’d like to refresh your memory – click here to watch
) Go ahead, I’ll wait, I know you want to hear it !!
There’s a line in the song that packs a whallop for me in reference to events that happened around 1990 – ” I saw the decade end when it seemed the world could change in the blink of an eye.” Now, for a 48 yr old like me, Russia was always the bad guy. Movies, books, TV, everywhere you turned, the Red Menace was there. (Hey, remember – “Red Dawn”, “Red October” , “Reds”, well the list goes on and on.) In the fifties and sixties, people built bomb shelters and school children had bomb drills to get ready for the “big attack”. Russia was the enemy – all around the world, we fought wars – both hot and cold – with them over who’s form of government would dominate the world.
But around 1990, the Soviet system COLLAPSED – POOF. Formerly Communist East Germany was REUNIFIED with West Germany !! (no doubt many of you youngsters out there wouldn’t have even known that there use to be TWO Germany’s!) Communism, as practiced in the USSR, E. Germany, and all of the Russian satellite nations changed almost overnite. There were no longer two world powers – Russia’s world influence has greatly diminished. And remember, in the 1960′s, we all HATED those red commie bastards!
But democracy won! Or was it just that communism, as a form of government, failed? I’m not political scientist or economist. All I know is that this one-hit-wonder song by Jesus Jones invokes all these incredible feelings in me in regards to this era. And it truly was the case that “the world changed in the blink of an eye”. No one ever brings up the fact that we need to be concerned about Soviet missles and nuclear warheads. We’re no longer fighting open or clandestine battles against the Russians for control over third world countries. I say democracy won.
So now, here we are in 2012 and again, the words apply – “The world can change in the blink of an eye.” The Arab Spring has cast aside dictators like Mubarak and Gadaffi. The butcher Sadam Hussein is dead. So I say, democracy is winning again. We are all a little bit more free when the people of a country rise up to throw off the shackles of oppressive rulers.
Don’t blink, or you’ll miss it.