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Two boys in a coffee shop

two boys, barely earned their scruffy unshaven faces, sit back at the coffee shop and impress each other with wisdom.
do you think our minds really adjust to inflation?
you mean, that the value of money decreases every year?
and then:
the worst thing about that is even if you put your money in some bank and leave it there, you lose money.
unless you get a good interest rate, and there are no good interest rates anymore.

oh, the weight of the world. how do we bear it?

but really, how do we?

does knowing the troubles of the world help us to solve its' problems? or even our own?

it's hard for me to believe it matters at all. perhaps it's narcissism or nihilism, but the way we muddle through seems so irrelevant. injustice continues in some form - whether we stifle in the rigidity of tribal isolation, or stumble through the self-seeking, self-service of contemporary western individualism. and though we rarely see past ourselves - here in 21st century america, at least - our individual destinies do not matter to the world.

the only thing that matters is that two of us survive to reproduce, to continue our species to the next cataclysm in evolution. and we can't see our way towards that point, or through it.

even if we were able to comprehend long term planning, or collective action, or common goods, the next super volcano or climate rocking comet or plague will kill us off at biologically precedented rates.

this is not to say that what we do until then - individually and collectively - is and should be out of our hands.

the opposite is true, in fact.

if we can't see past our survival, why don't we live like today is our last day on this earth? but not a wasted day. the one day we have to define ourselves. not to fuck and eat and cheat each other with animal abandon, but to transcend our animal bonds and become human. one day to love and respect and protect and relish the paradise in which we exist. profit means nothing here. hierarchy is ridiculous. inequality inane.

relieve these boys of the burden of philosophy and let them, let us all LIVE. today is the only day.

maybe i'm feeling sentimental cause i'm out of a job, for now. or maybe it's hot out and i'm feeling heated and moody. or maybe riots and fires in london seem like the only rational behavior. order is overrated, but i'm no anarchist.

listening to those two boys - or any dilettantes like them - raises my hackles. but i see myself in them. drinking coffee that costs almost as much as wine and is as meticulously cultivated...

i feel like i'm in rome. but though i'd like to believe i'm the one putting on the show in the coliseum, i know that's not true. only the show has changed. or, perhaps there's another ring of watchers, just outside the walls, that cater to the self-appointed masters and fool them into thinking their wine has no water, and their show is the one to watch.

i see the course of history like an increasingly fractaled vortex, where our observations of ourselves have become so rife with symbols, and symbols of symbols, that we begin to see only reflected pieces of ourselves and not the original. we can no longer see what is, we see only what was in the past or in a representation of an event. we are more likely to reference a movie to describe an event than we are to speak in factual terms about what is actually happening.

it's like this whole S&P downgrade debacle. if the government hadn't made a big, unnecessary stink about raising the debt ceiling - this really should have been a mechanical piece of legislation, passed in the dead of night like all the others - then the S&P would never have had "concerns" about the state of the US economy. but because it was used as a vehicle for political machinations, it brought attention to the instability underlying the US economy. an instability, mind you, that has been made worse by the politically charged negotiations over a pitiful $3 trillion dollars.

so what does the downgrade really mean? well, nothing. it's symbolic. just like the stock market, just like the debt ceiling, just like all the other policies that aim to impact the economy. what's really wrong with the US economy? everything! but those symbols aren't there to reflect that; worse, they're not going to change it, no matter how much debt we're legally allowed to accumulate, or how likely the S&P believes our ability to pay it back (the debt, just like the rest, is a will never be paid back).

so, for these two young boys, i sympathize. how do you become men in a world where nothing is safe or sacred? how do you know where you stand, and how do you make a difference? more simply: what do you make? and what value does it have? when it comes down to it, we'd all be best served by creating farm cooperatives and growing food. because food means something. you can eat it when you can't sell your art, or your tortured novel, or you lose your job selling fixed gear bikes to college kids with dwindling trust funds.

i know i'm going down with this ship. what about you?

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