From the Editors
It's not the suspense that's killing us; it's the lack of communication
Rewind to 1977 — the VHS and Betamax videocassette recording systems are released in North America. For the first time ever, the at-home movie viewer is empowered to skip past the bad parts and get to the good parts. It's a functionality that is further refined with the DVD's scene selection feature — which will come in handy when fans of that year's Star Wars are confronted with Jar Jar Binks 22 years into the future.
Fast-forward to 2019 — impatience for slow developing plot threads and intolerance for ambiguity is greater than ever. Many of us prefer to — and are even conditioned to — race through to the finish of our favorite shows and series, lest someone else spoil them for us. Nowadays we ask What happens next? not only of the make-believe and pretend, but of ourselves, our relationships, our world and its institutions. There may be no worse feeling in the 21st century than being left hanging.
The fact of the matter is, however, that our current reality is still up for discussion. Such is the organizing principle of the Jefferson Educational Society's annual Global Summit, where experts, commentators, and personalities of all persuasions gather in Erie to ponder why we are the way we are and how we might be what we want to be. Like the last movie or show you watched, it may be — and probably is — open to interpretation. Unlike that scripted entertainment, the plot of right now is forever fluid and changing.
Although it's frustrating, we can't binge-think our way through all of our problems in a single afternoon. But what will become of us?! And what will become of our glass bottles?! (Seth Trott has some insight into the latter). All we can do is take it one episode at a time and hope to appoint capable directors. While many are mentally fast-forwarding to the 2020 general election and which of a glut of Democratic candidates might unseat Trump, Ben Speggen advises us not to lose sight of what's in front of us. On Tuesday, Nov. 5, polls will open for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Erie City Council, Erie County Council, County Controller, City School Director, and more.
There's a lot on our plate — more than can be cleared in one, two, three, or 300 public officials' sittings — so for now, let's gather at the table, talk it out, and try not to get too far ahead of ourselves. As Winston Churchill once said: "Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time."