|Caught Between the Cheats|
As we spend our last weekend before the New Year ushers us into the next round of incredible money-from-nothing-creation, and we all wonder what the outcome can possibly be when the present stage of evolution ends and God, in the guise of the Chairman of the FED, must withdraw his credit, and enjoyment of life, belief in ourselves, and, the ability that all civilized nations have to spread around them the comfortable illusion that they have a mission, ends. And so America, which was once an intelligent country, sheltering, as it did within its frontiers, a fair number of cultivated persons, who, like cultivated persons in all parts of the world, dash about in an unsettled state of mind amidst a tremendous upheaval of noise, speed, innovation, legal disputes, and everything else that belongs to the visual and acoustical landscape of our lives, will, for a moment, allow itself a pause for reflection.
In the last year, or week, we've daily read and heard several dozen news-items that made our hair stand on end, and we're prepared to become excited about them, indeed, even to do something about them, but nothing ever comes of it because some moments later the stimulus has already been displaced from the consciousness by other and more recent stimuli.
Like all other people we enjoy the sensation of being surrounded by murder, manslaughter, passion, self-sacrifice, and greatness, which come about somehow in the tangle that forms around us, but we cannot reach these adventures because we are held captive in an office or in some other quasi-professional enclosure, and when, towards evening, we are at last let out, the accumulated tension for which we have no more use then explodes in front of us on the ever larger screen we seek out as our chosen form of entertainment that no longer entertains, yet holds us fast, inexplicably, in its sway.
And there is the one additional factor to the cultivated person, or passionate dreamer, if they do not dedicate themselves to love, as exclusively as their daydreaming selves did: they dread the day when they no longer have the boon of credit and can no longer bestow on themselves the gift of deceit it makes possible. Then they will no longer know what will become of their smiling, their sighing, their very thoughts. To what purpose have we been thinking? Why have we smiled? All our opinions are accidental, our likings grown suddenly old; somehow everything is still there, floating in the air, ready-made (in China, more'nlikely) and one runs full tilt into it; and we can no longer do anything, nor yet leave anything undone, because there is no longer any unifying law.
So it is that we keep at bay the gnawing dread, the undeniable knowledge from which we hide as we bury in our hoardings of accumulated nonsensicals, the sheer weight of which keeps reminding us of the accumulated debt that's steadily rising higher and higher and that we know we will never be able to pay off. Then as the inevitable bankruptcy, which each New Year we fear draws nearer, we either inveigh against the age in which we're condemned to live, although liking living in it just as much as everyone else, we fling ourselves, with the courage of those with nothing to lose, upon every idea that holds out a promise of a change.
This, of course, is the same throughout the world. But when, or should, the Fiscal Cliff, or more likely, the Debt Ceiling, cause credit to be withdrawn from America, it will do something special as all the minorities are forced to realize the difficulty in our polyglot civilization. We've all been sitting pretty like bacteria in a culture medium, without worrying about whether the sky is as blue as it ought to be, or some such thing; but all at once, we will begin to feel that we are in a tight place. Because, although mankind doesn't usually know it, we must believe we are something more in order to be capable of being what we are; we must somehow have the sense of something more above and around us.
But, of a sudden, we may be deprived of it, and this lack will be as distressing as not being able to sleep or not being able to understand. So whereas it is easy for us to persuade ourselves that it would all be different if each of the nations within the Empire could just be a Democracy, and have its own way of life, the American minorities are not so easily convinced of the same thing themselves. For we Americans are defiant by nature and contented with ourselves by half, though not necessarily with each other, merely doing to the utmost what seems to be necessary in order to co-exist with one another, giving rise to many inexplicable things, which people cease to worry about when they sing the national anthem.
Therefore, it would be a mistake to form a picture of our notorious American nationalism as particularly savage. It is more an historical than a real phenomena. The people here rather like each other, although admittedly that doesn't stop them from hitting each other over the head or spitting at each other. But this they do only from higher cultural considerations, such as when a man that wouldn't hurt a fly, even if alone with it, would, were he to be with his fellows in a court of law, even with the Crucified One hanging around his neck, not hesitate to condemn another man to death.
So you can feel justified in saying that every time the Chairman uses his monetary tools to give respite, forestalling the hammer that's poised over our heads, binding us increasingly in his thrall, it allows us to remain faithful to the vision of our higher selves and - good little fools that we are for eating and drinking, having been created to that end like all other human beings, and for that matter, all other sentient creatures - will be greatly amazed at the experience that failure of such tools delivers, as we are suddenly, soddenly even, made the fools of history.
But for now, Happy New Year!