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A Bard's Tale: Part VII - Progress
Every winter when I was a child we went sledding in the streets. We went ice skating on the lake behind our house and skiing on the other side of the forested hill about fifty meters or so from our house. Every spring we fetched our bicycles from the cellars or sheds and hurried off to visit friends. Every summer we played in the flowery meadows, went swimming in the sea, girls and boys, and caught fish only a hundred meters or so from our summer cabin. Every autumn it rained, and we built dams from fallen leaves and branches, made small boats out of bark and let them sail down the street as we opened up the dams. When darkness returned, with autumn, we also played hide and seek amongst the dying trees, and hid in the shadows and under piles of yellow, red and orange leaves. Childhood was a never-ending game, suspended only by meals and sleep, interrupted only by kindergarten, school and a few duties, and cruelly ended by time and age.
The streets were then, as time went by, filled with cars, so it became too dangerous for anybody to play in the streets. The lake turned into a bog when they built terraced apartments on the other side of the valley. The trees were cut down. The climate changed and snow was scarce. Gypsies sat up camp nearby every now end then, and every time they did all that was light enough to carry was stolen from our properties. No children could be seen playing outdoors anymore, even in the spring. The fish slowly disappeared from the sea. Pretty much everything became filthy, covered in exhaust and mud, grey and smelly.
This is how I remember childhood and adolescence. Everything was fine, but only for a while. As I grew up almost everything good disappeared. A healthy society turned sick. Everything light turned grey. I was an eye-witness to "progress"; as Norway left poverty and found it's happiness in oil. Norway became a wealthy country, for the first ever!
When I grew up there was close to no crime. I only ever heard about one single burglary in the whole area. It happened a couple of kilometers away, and to us this was a huge and troubling event. Since the late 60ies/early 70ies though, crime rates are up about 5000% (!) in Norway. This is not only because of the Afro-Asian immigration, and not only because of the corruptive power of wealth, but also because we all of a sudden are not allowed to do anything anymore. "Progress" they call it. We now have neither freedom to (do what we want) nor freedom from (crime and oppression).
If this is progress then please sign me up for recession.
Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges. (C. Tacitus)
(The more corrupt state, the more laws)
In other languages: Italiano