Editorial: Who would have thought?
Who would have thought that an SUV would have to barrel through the Woodfield Mall before there'd be talk about putting barriers in front of all the entrances to enclosed shopping centers in the suburbs?
Who would have thought that after years of demanding the right to put slot machines at Arlington Park, the racetrack would say "no thanks" when Illinois finally said OK?
Who would have thought that after years of efforts to reduce the death toll wrought by drunken driving, the state would say it's OK to go ahead and use marijuana?
Who would have thought after all the mass shootings the nation has suffered, we would have done nothing about gun control?
Who would have thought that 100 years after the Black Sox scandal, Major League Baseball and all the other pro leagues would openly embrace sports gambling?
For that matter, who would have thought that the lifetime banishment of Shoeless Joe Jackson would extend well beyond his life and keep him out of the Hall of Fame in death, too?
Who would have thought we'd live in a time when virtually all the knowledge collected in human history would fit in the palm of your hand?
Who would have thought social media -- that revolutionary democratization of mass communication -- would end up being, at times at least, a bad thing?
Who would have thought that so many of us wouldn't even blink before allowing Big Brother to collect so much data on us that even our thoughts and opinions can be manipulated?
Who would have thought that our president could prod a foreign power to investigate his political opponent, with at the very least an implied quid quo pro, and we would decide if that's acceptable based on whether we like his policies?
Who would have thought we'd grow old enough to need our kids to figure out how to work the remote control, what electrical provider to use and how to change the clock?
Who would have thought that we'd have major party candidates running for president at ages 78, 76, 73 and 70?
Who would have thought that Mick Jagger would still be singing and dancing at age 76 -- even after open heart surgery?
Who would have thought that Johnny Mathis' voice would still be exquisite at age 84?
Who would have thought that a 16-year-old would be this year's most inspirational activist on climate change?
Who would have thought that the Baby Boom generation -- so devoted in its youth to peace, the environment, equality and free love -- would be leaving so much work to be done by the generations that follow.
This, of course, is the nature of things.