What is this world coming to?" - it curls off the lips as perfunctory as an adjacency pair. Often the reply is a silence - aren't we all void of response? Who do you know that genuinely responses with: "teenage crime and pregnancy is increasing rampantly; we're all being stripped of our financial dignity; many live off the taxpayer, exceeding amounts that few of us could physically imagine; educational standards are fleeting and the news makes us recoil in acrimony or shock. So, nice weather we're having."
My eyes have glanced and my fingers have thumbing through many articles and many comments about this terrible world in which we live, as though all these problems, or at least, variations of them, are just now being born and seemingly never face death. We react to those with omnipotence, usually our government, and demand them to tell us why they can't fix these fundamental issues. The truth is, these problems have been upon the world since its first spin, and the strange thing is, we can all remember them. Now I want you to close your eyes. I want you to clear your mind (relax, just for a second or two!) and go back to your History lesson, where today, you'll be learning about Jack the Ripper...
Jack the Ripper is a pseudonym for an elusive serial killer who still remains unidentified. He murdered and dismembered five prostitutes in Whitechapel, East London, but it is debated among historians to this day as to whether he did in fact slay more. He murdered, he dismembered, he broke into homes, and the prostitutes themselves were not standing firmly on moral high ground. This was later emulated by the Yorkshire Ripper in 1981: the crime was a repetition of a crime centuries old, not a new atrocity in the realms of this "awful world."
Let's travel back further in time to 1605 when Robert Catesby led a crime of treason, nicknamed the Gunpower Plot, to blow up the House of Lords, along with the King - nowadays we just debate in a controlled, albeit slightly suppressed, environment. When atrocities are committed, the suspects are presented before fair, qualified juries, hemmed in by laws themselves. When a high crime, particularly treason, was committed, those convicted where hanged in public, with an "entertaining" beating, where crowds of lords and peasants alike would gather to simultaneously watch a man die in agony and pick-pocket each other. In this same time period, peasants were not protected by employee rights - they could be paid little or nothing, and often died working.
Now recent events have screamed from the back of your mind: the infamous London riots. I'll voice one word back: suffrage. During the rise of the militant suffragette campaign, indignant women chained themselves to railings, went on hunger strikes whilst in prison, fought against the police, posed disruptions to meetings in parliament, ran in front of the King's horse and died in honour of their cause. Here both events are equal destructive, no better or worse. Whilst the suffragettes had a motive, it was proved they had little effect on the passing of the bill allowing women the right to vote.
From here we bleed through to education, where England experienced a period nicknamed The Dickens era, stigmatised by a shroud of slang, colloquialisms (to accommodate for poor reading standards) and teachers who were no more capable to encourage reading and teach pronunciation compared to present. In actuality, modern series like Twilight and Harry Potter have drawn children and adults alike to the world of literature.
The world, I'm afraid, is going nowhere and has yet to plunge into the depths of despair. However, when it does, I'll once again to here to give you my verdict.