by Marty Hayes, J.D
In looking back over this past month, and then further back into the past several months, I am reminded of the time when I worked graveyard patrol in a very small town. This was long before I even went to law school, long before the concept of the Network had entered my mind. I had started The Firearms Academy of Seattle by then, but it wasn’t making enough money to support us while continuing to build the academy. As a result, I took this job to supplement our income while we built the school. During this time, when one of the most challenging tasks on night patrol was simply keeping awake, I became a fan of Art Bell and his late night talk radio show, “Coast to Coast AM.” For those familiar with Art Bell and his show, you know he discussed some pretty strange stuff.
I will be the first to admit that I was skeptical about most of what was discussed on the Art Bell show, but since it was on the only radio station I could tune in where I was working, I grew to enjoy the mental process of deciding “Truth or Fiction.” One phenomenon he discussed on several occasions, was called “The Quickening,” and I believed it held a little more truth than fiction. As I understood this phenomenon, it meant an acceleration of activities to the point where so much is happening so quickly, one cannot keep up with it and is eventually overwhelmed.
It is interesting to look back 20 years, and see just how much more hectic, chaotic and fast-paced our world has become. In some respects, I put the blame onto the never-ending 24/7 news cycle. In order for news outlets to keep viewers and listeners, each day they must produce sensational headlines because ratings drive income. Unless it is public radio or public television, the news outlet needs that money to survive. The result is more sensational headlines and increased bombardment of our senses with stimulation.
But, I believe, this is not all. It certainly seems that things are coming at us faster and faster. An example is the many news accounts of riots, with shootings, lootings and burnings, reported each and every day. We have Kenosha, Ferguson, Portland, Seattle, just to name a few. This just didn’t happen 20 years ago, with the singular exception being the LA riots after the Rodney King incident and acquittal of the four LAPD officers involved in the incident. Now, there is no wait for rioting, a police officer just defends him- or herself, and the riots are off and running.
Additionally, there is the political scene. The sun cannot rest a single day without a new “blockbuster” allegation made about one politician or another–so many allegations, that they become very easy to ignore.
Next, let’s heap a global pandemic onto the scene, complete with daily warnings of impending death for all, and when today’s warning doesn’t come to fruition, let’s simply dream up another warning, and so on and so forth. They say, “Follow the science” but I have not been able to pin down any science to follow, because what is touted as science seems to change every other day. Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask; stay away at least 6 feet from each other, etc. Of course, it is okay to have a myriad of exceptions to these rules. It reminds me of trying to read the fish and game regulations! Just think if they changed THOSE on a routine basis. Oh wait, they do, and that’s one more thing to keep up with.
Sadly, Art Bell passed away a couple of years ago, due to (according to the Internet) an accidental drug overdose. At least that is what the coroner said. I have to wonder though, did “The Quickening” just get too much for Mr. Bell, and he decided to slow down. We will never know.
To read more of this month's journal, please click here.