Friday, November 13, 2015

End Times: Signs and Portents

The end is nigh and these are the last days.

Last days for what?  you might ask.  Well for everything of course. Nothing lasts forever, maybe not even forever itself.

I don't remember what Sutra it came from or maybe it was from a college professor but "all that which is an arising thing, that too is a ceasing thing" comes to mind.  Perhaps it comes to any mind that's been observing long enough.  I mean I've seen so many brand new public infatuations come and go like flashes of light at a disco dance. Things picked up, fallen in love with then despised and dropped.  Hey, Disco is one of them, come to think of it.   Rock and Roll is here to stay?  not really.

Somehow still we're told it's very necessary to the way people think about you to know everything about all the new fashions and passions of the pre-teens, about the pop culture churned out by the pop culture machine  lest anyone suspect you're over 21.  Something else you might ask -- when the hell is this going to end?  Sorry Jack, change is here to stay. It's a cornerstone of Capitalism. It will never die.

Perhaps it's apocryphal, but J.P. Morgan is said to have sold out of the market because he saw an elevator operator reading the Wall Street Journal and he knew the end was neigh.  Before my time, but I do remember all the hype about how to get rich investing in Art, right before the Art market crashed in 1989 and more hype about buying and flipping houses right before the Real Estate bubble blew up.  It leads me to speculate about all the signs and portents we are surrounded by.  We do seem to live in a land of  alternating cycles of hipness and fad and passionate commitments to "lifestyles."   You'd think it was easy to spot a lifestyle bubble about to burst.

There are forces at work in building and destroying everything and you can see them as plainly as any devotee of Shiva the  destroyer can.  I knew the end of really being a hippie was at hand when the mass produced uniforms and accoutrements of rebellion showed up in the Sears catalog and people by the millions started saying "Groovy."  The coolness of the Beat generation filled countless identical coffee houses with identically dressed people showing off their rejection of conformity.  But today?  Well there's enough handwriting on the wall to make it look like a Subway platform in the 70s, but really, it's not an easy job to be a prophet of doom.  Doom has a mind of its own.

Backwards hats worn 24/7 after all  have been with us forever along with other tokens of "I won't grow up" culture. Would-be bad boys from Suberbia are still trying to look like gang members.  Yoga pants matrons dressed identically  still cruise the aisles like royalty selecting holy foods fertilized only with shit and avoiding those 7 foods you should never eat in favor of things grown under Tuscan sunlight which is extra pure, you know.  Everyone is buying SUVs - still.  For safety of course even though you're more likely to be killed in one than in a car. The very most hip of the hipsters are still fenging and shui-ing and taking detoxicating enemas and cleansing their auras with quartz crystals. Doesn't this speak of end times?  Please?

Maybe change is changing?  Maybe cycles are slowing down or becoming smaller  and harder to notice so as to make hipness more exclusive.  I mean yesterday's curved visor and adjustment strap backward baseball cap is being replaced by the flat visor, one size is too big for most people black cap that makes you look more idiotic than previously thought possible. How long has it been, 40 years?   People put great store in commercialized  "outsider" fashion and this stuff is important even if, like your thousand dollar sweat shop shoes that go out of style in  a thousand hours, it has taken over your life and your paycheck.  How can I keep up, or worse keep ahead of this?

I wasn't meant to, of course, nor were you if you're old enough to write cursive in standard English and take your hat off in a posh restaurant. The system doesn't want us.  We're redundant, surplus population and I suspect that the more some things change the less others do. We either join the exploiters or step aside.  So anyone want to sing along?   Exploitation is here to stay - it will never die. . .

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