Does the past exist?

19 04 2010

Dear friends,

I have a question that I need some help with. Does the past exist in any tangible form? And for that manner does time itself exist at all. How long is the now? Is it something called Planck time? I must admit that I am ignorant in the ways of physics, mathematics or religion when it comes to this and many would argue other questions as well. For example as I write this, for all reading it, it was written in the past – do or did I ever exist. Similar to a new car that loses one-half its value the instant it is driven off the lot, where does time go once it leaves that moment we think of as now?

Does time exist now?

At this moment my nephew and his wonderful new bride on are their honeymoon after their wedding this weekend. She is now a part of our family, does it matter that prior to 1:32 pm pacific standard time Friday April 16th she wasn’t, she is now. After the wedding they had a wonderful reception overlooking the ocean down in Long Beach, CA. My wife and I sat at a table with another couple besides the bride and groom we discussed among other things welfare reform and the economic collapse that has ensued in some mountainous school districts here in Kern County.

I informed them that here in Kern County welfare reform has lead to the irrefutable changes in the culture of some of our rural and mountain communities.  Where as in the past many families with children were able to stay in their relative isolation because of the availability of food stamps and welfare; as their cash payments and other government subsidies ran out have now migrated out of the hills. With fewer kids in the district many of these rural school districts have seen declining enrollment which has in turn forced them to layoff teachers and other staff such as bus drivers, kitchen staff, and teachers’ aides etc which were among the best paying jobs in the area. Because of these changes a culture that had existed for generations is or will soon be gone.  We could debate the issue of how a couple thousand dollars a year per child on government aide kept an entire community intact for generations. Does it even matter? After all it’s all in the past now, school people have to deal with the realities of today.

This discussion will remain as one memory of my nephew and his wife’s wedding. However nobody else except my wife and I and the other couple will ever know these issues were even discussed. I’m certain there were at least three to four other discussions per the 30 or so other tables that evening I will never know about. But does it even matter.

In the past I’ve said good bye to friends I will never see again, some recently others 20, 30 plus years ago. Is there a difference between today or 30 years ago, does the infinity of time mean that for all practical purposes it doesn’t matter if these events occurred all at once or never at all. Is my memory of them just an illusion?

Diverging to politics our nation today has a Black (all be it one-half Black) President. This is a fact, which is the now; there is no turning back the clock. Yet some our country suffer from a delusion that prevent them from accept this as fact. They say they want “their” country back. What does this mean? To them I ask if Columbia Undergrad, Harvard Law, University of Chicago Constitutional Law Professor not good enough for you, than what is. On a recent trip to Arizona I visited a number of small towns along old Route 66 among the tourist shops of Route 66 T-shirts and postcards there was plenty of flag paraphernalia, unfortunately very little of it Stars and Stripes most were decorated with Stars and Bars. If that is the “their” country these people are talking about, if it’s ok with you I’ll just keep the one we have now thank you.

To these and others suffering from a collective psychosis that refuses to accept the reality of now, I say “you ain’t seen nothing yet”. In less than eight months national results from the currently being collected US Census will show a nation that is racially and ethnically dramatically different than could have been imagined (in the past). But that is a discussion for the future.

Patty is part of our family; rural school districts nationwide are laying off bus drivers, janitors, school lunch helpers; I’ve said good bye to friends I’ll never see again. The US has a Black President. The US Census being collected now will show a nation dramatically different than ever before, that is the now, I mean the recent past – oh you know what I mean.

On final note, as I was surfing the net on this topic I found a couple good website. One in particular was the blog of a Stacey Pollock. I found her article on April 11th, 2010 the following was posted on her site the day before. “10th April 2010 Update: At the moment I have had to stop with writing for personal reasons. Also my website has been closed down for this reason.”

As Max from Get Smart would say “Missed it by that much.”