Archive for the ‘Allen, Woody’ Category

Woody Allen: “Mankind is at a crossroads”

March 7, 2022

Woody’s 1979 “Speech to Graduates” seems eerily on-point today.


I’m not a big Woody Allen fan, but one of his long ago quotes has always stuck in my memory.

The Ukraine crisis brought Woody’s words front-of-mind:

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads.

One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness.

The other, to total extinction.

Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

Unconsciously applying Woody’s admonition, the WSJ puts it this way:

Europe is learning a hard “Ukraine changes everything” lesson.

In the U.S. we’re shocked at the images from Ukraine.

Whether we’re willing to change our own complacent status quo in the face of manifestly real external and internal threats to our security is less clear.

At least now we have a baseline for discussion:

Do nothing, and disorder descends.

For a deeper cut,, see my prior post…

Greater threat to the planet: Putin or climate change?

… that argues Putin is a clear, present, nuclear threat …  that prevails over climate change on immediacy, likelihood, severity and game-changing mitigation.

So, climate control should take a backseat to stopping a manic who is killing masses of people, destroying a country and postured to threaten nuclear blackmail as long as he’s in power.

In other words, shelve the elitist idealism and “drill, baby, drill”.


Worth reading

Woody’s entire speech …. as published in the New York Times, August 10, 1979 … is a quick read … pithy, funny and on-point

The key elements:

We are a people who lack defined goals.

We have never learned to love.

We lack leaders and coherent programs.

Unfortunately our politicians are either incompetent or corrupt. Sometimes both on the same day.

We have no spiritual center.

Religion has unfortunately let us down.

Feeling godless then, what we have done is made technology God.

We’re counting on computers and electricity to solve our problems.

Eventually, energy will be in short supply and each car owner will be allowed only enough gasoline to back up a few inches.

We are adrift alone in the cosmos wreaking monstrous violence on one another out of frustration and pain.

Violence breeds more violence.

It’s a 3-minute read … and worth the time.


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