A loss of confidence

The man existed in his hovel
Eyeing the various portals of distraction
They would be short-lived
Every last one

The rectangle offering a glimpse into
The outside world seemed off-putting
His pile of food on the table was worse than the rectangle
A pair of dice in the corner shifted the blame
Onto the broken radio
But hope seemed like a false enterprise
So paying attention didn’t make sense
Things would remain broken

His spine tickled itself in pain
Wood underneath bone just didn’t give way
Though the green rabbits started to surface
Poking playful ears out from under various worthless things
They looked playful
A little confused
That was okay

This pleasure was incredibly fleeting, and had to be respected

The Gold Standard

A great heap of cash

Was anchored to a golden fleece
But the great hole in the ground
Changed everything

Caution set fire to the wind
Burning green just for the sake of it
Hoovervilles sprung up
Like glowing islands of despair

One ramshackle home
Sat above a pocket of riches
But the coughs and sores
Obscured the cries of bullion
There was crying from the home above
And it collided with the wails from below
Oblivious choruses reaching beyond the the little home
Beyond the group of hovels
Even extending beyond the ‘ville itself
But they died shortly beyond the outermost structure
A lawman thought he had heard something
But must’ve been mistaken

The Silver Decade

It seemed like only yesterday you could compare a dampened economy to the 1930s, that majestic decade where value faded and a dogged depression took its place. The Great Recession had its place among the pantheon of failed experiments, but at least it could be placed among the greats, and could relate to them. What is this unrecognizable state of civilization we find ourselves in? Some sunken far-right struggle against the liberal light? The economy is recovering, but hysteria over it continues, which obscures human rights abuses rationalized by anti-immigrant sentiments. A recovering but fledgling economy will be hampered by fragmented murmurs in the night that comprise ideologies.

But even during The Great Recession, you could refer to a great, devastating, lost decade. Nostalgia over references made everything sane again. The 1930s. At least there was that. Certainly this new world we find ourselves can’t find any similarities concerning civil rights abuses with the 1930s and its heavily exploited migrant farm workers and increased discrimination over jobs because competition allowed for that sort of thing.

The Great Recession must be a more relatable beacon of disaster. Shadow bankers, debt bubbles, housing bubbles, etc. Crushing debt and uncertainty leaves a more devastating toll than does a constant stream of civil rights abuses and xenophobia.

And then there is the majestic historical sweep we now live in, so incompatible with the chaos of the 30s. We are in the era of impeachment in one country, threats of it in another, and North Korean missiles gone awry, but these are signs of an encroaching peace not instability.

But maybe we can squeeze out a glop of uncertainty from this age so that it might compare with the mighty depression. Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen, and Ahn-Cheol-soo loom large as doubt-inspiring suns illuminating a corridor from one age to another. All hope isn’t lost, you see. Perhaps if they band together, the sealing of a decade will be complete.

 

 

 

Hierarchy of Fear and the “Equivalence of Threat”

So, what creates that hierarchy of fear in people? I would like to apply a concept to this exploration. I call it the “equivalence of threat.” Basically, if you can establish an equivalence of threat on part of the perception in question, it’s possible to ferret out universal truths about how the mind processes fear. Possibly. Any seeming equivalences conjured by human perception might break down if examined closely enough.

Still. That’s no reason to be discouraged. Let’s give it a “whirl,” shall we? Tornadoes vs. Warheads, then. Seems like a fair comparison. The former is much more likely, has occurred very frequently compared to the former. Would it be safe to assume that tornadoes are more feared than warheads? Depends on the context.

If the threat of warheads were to rise suddenly, the distance created by a lingering but subdued danger would activate cold war-esque anxieties. But not only that. Which renegade state is in charge of these warheads? This would be a factor too. If we’re assuming equivalent power and maliciousness among nuclear capable states, russia-phobia might be the tie breaker. Nothing like a snow-covered helmet screaming at you as it obliterates everything in a cleansing white light.

So, while russia-phobia trumps other states when it comes to inspiring fear over nuclear warheads, it doesn’t clear up that glaring flaw of overlooking the leviathan state known colloquially known as the U.S. of .A. With the current shaker of the executive branch, America trumps russia. Also it snows there, so America would have its own screaming snow-covered helmets to throw at people. While states and their individual rights have been emphasized, so to has the federal authority over those states. And nuclear warheads are the apex of executive branch authority.

America emerges the victor in this very close race, but then how does it stack up to the malicious arm of nature known as the tornado?

If the threat of tornadoes were to rise suddenly, what then? The threat is theoretically equal. But there are certain factors to consider that make murky this hierarchy of fear.

 

  1. Visual Splendor

A great white light versus a dust-colored, twisting arm of nature? Hmm. That’s a tough one. I would say the tornado might win out here. The observer has the luxury of time to watch as a tornado whips through a neighborhood or city. However, the observer would have the luxury of time in the warhead case presuming a scenario where they might see one state annihilated by the white light and then think to themselves “I’m next.”

But the color of the sky is important to human perception. A green sky acts as the backdrop to a hulking, pitch-black tornado. How would the green sky/tornado scenario compete with the warhead case if you add the doppler radar into the mix. Massive blots and their approach are repeated over and over again. Pink spells disaster. Tornadoes might win here.

2. Technology, History

Tornadoes seem divorced from technology, they cannot be “dropped” by a nation-state. Two points here. Architecture plus natural disaster helps create a sort of technology, but one that isn’t categorically recognized. Tornadoes are also firmly within the construct of the human perception of “nature” rather than technology and so exist outside of time and bureaucracies. Thus they seem alien and unpredictable. However, the sense of pre-history given by a tornado doesn’t matter to human perception. How it has affected civilization is the only thing that matters.

A counter-point to this would be that pre-history seems alien, massive, like comets destroying things or beings rising from incredibly vast bodies of water. Does a tornado evoke that?

Warheads seem easily controlled and potent expressions of aggression. They are rightly feared. Their legacy in history is secure because of World War II, unless another world conflict occurs in which these weapons aren’t used and another fear takes its place. Seems sort of unlikely.

So, tornadoes won the visual splendor test. What about technology/history? Technology gives a sense of being controlled, despite the potential to be used by a maniac. However, from the view of technology/history, we see the contrast: and unfriendly and unpredictable tornado with no human concept of vengeance or purpose. Something that exists beyond time and civilization. Something that frolicked with extremophiles and and emperors.

The tornado wins hands down. Am I biased? Maybe.

 

 

 

What is decade drift©?

What happens when someone’s nostalgia influences their perceptions and/or memories of a decade? “Decade drift” is a name I like to use that refers to this concept. When someone is under the spell of this phenomenon, their perceptions of any given decade can deviate pleasantly from established reality. For instance, when one thinks of the 90’s, their ideas of the decade can expand to include people, things, or other phenomena that come slightly before or slightly after the decade in question (years “drifting” into each other).

But time is just one factor in this concept. The mental experience of decade drift allows for nostalgia to bolster perceptions of a decade in other ways. For instance, it’s possible to associate a decade with specific environments, color palettes, feelings, media coverage, widespread economic conditions, or just a general “atmosphere.” It’s highly dependent on the individual.

Nostalgia might surface during particularly trying times, offering a rose-tinted view of a specific decade while in some ways preserving harsh narratives in the subconscious that originally inspired the desire for escapism.

Another aspect under this concept is that decades will have various attitudes towards isolationism which then interact with those rose-tinted lenses. With some decades you might see eurocentric or american-centric attitudes to greater or lesser degrees. Some of these decades will be looked upon more favorably because of their entrenched centrisms, which offer customized outlets for the practice of nostalgia.

Finally, I consider decade drift to be an ongoing concept. It is designed to implement other thoughts and ideas that might complement it in the future.