Keeping The Faith
I grew up in the 80’s under the cloud of the Cold War. Nuclear holocaust was only moments away for a good portion of my young life. At least that was the constant rumor that was floated around by politicians and fear mongers. We were led to believe the Soviet people were simply waiting to invade. Spy movies, Books, Television shows all pummeled us with the belief that the Soviet people were the Devil just waiting to steal the souls of the good, pure American people.
And then something crazy happened. In 1985 Rocky IV was released. Yes, I know it was a movie and the Giant Soviet Boxer and his hot dominatrix girlfriend weren’t even Russian, but it made an impression. As the two warriors put aside king and country and battled it out for personal pride, and the Russian people in the audience began to cheer for both men as they gave it their all; I said to myself, “Hey! Those people aren’t that much different than me!”
In 1987 I was trying to get my life going. The 80’s and early 90’s were a time of hedonism. I’m not casting aspersions, instead I’m remembering a time where things looked to be getting better in the world. There weren’t any major wars, there wasn’t a significant amount of racial tension, and homosexuality was just a choice some people made—no big deal, if it made you happy go for it.
There were still those pesky Russians though. We could put them aside for a while as we drank and danced, but at some point they would have to be dealt with. The movies and television news told us so. It was time for the greatest offensive America could mount. We sent one of our greatest warriors of the era to the heart of Russia, and as he epically battled the Soviet Machine the screams of the Russian people were deafening. Tears, shouts, thousands of people pressing against each other as the jockeyed for position. The noise was deafening, but our warrior was taking no prisoners. Thank you Billy Joel!
Yeah… that’s right, we sent a 5’5” piano player with an acceptable voice and a whole lotta heart to win the cold war, and you know what? It worked.
“Wait”, I thought. They like the same music as us? They are cheering for Billy Joel and not trying to kill him? They haven’t arrested him as an American Spy, or called him a Capitalist Pig who should be shot? Someone’s been lying to me; those people don’t look evil. They look like my neighbors, my friends, my family. And they like the same Music!!!
Now with life once again moving along, the news pummels us with fears of terrorism, North Korea, killer virus’, economic ruin, China, and of course Russia again (worked last time for decades). Honestly, my brain was starting to forget the lessons of 1987. And then I started to sell Cherisse in foreign countries and people started sending me messages and emails.
My friends in Portugal, Great Brittan, Sweden, Brazil, Russia, Norway, Brazil, and Australia all have a lot in common. They have families, are married, love to read, and have similar problems from time to time as Steve and Mary (Characters in Cherisse if you haven’t read it). They are living their lives, going to work and trying to make the best of their time with their families. They just want happy, full lives with their loved ones. So wait… people all over the world are just like me? They’re just normal people and have the same feelings and issues as 95% of America?
Oh yeah… that’s right. I learned that in 1987 but somehow forgot. Thanks for the reminder!
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