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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Has anyone else noticed the gloom?

It may just be Houston. It may just be that it's rained here for a couple days, and it may well be my own projections, but does it seem to anyone else that a great gloom has crept over the country?

There's ample reason for it. I'm not arguing that. It just seems that over the last few days I'm seeing a shift in people as I walk about in the world. Less laughter, less activity, less life.

I don't know. It could just be me.


  • I justed posted something similar, Mike, as I was going through the spate of recent polls showing 27%/69% right track/wrong track, 65% believing tehir children will live worse lives than they have, etc. It's remarkable. It's like the 70's all over again in some ways. The Mideast is aflame, gas is through the roof, inflation is eating away whatever wage gains people are making, we're in the middle of a war that doesn't seem to have an end or a rationale to it, the government can't meet its obligations.

    There are some differences, of course. The real estate boom has helped people survive the pretty shitty economy and crime isn't on the rise the way it was in the 70's. But as a trade-off, the globe is warming, storms are scaier the ever, the fire and hurricane seasons get longer and more damaging every year.

    Yeah, lots of gloom. CNN did two segments on these crazy armageddon people this week. I don't believe in that crap, but it wouldn't surprise me if Georgie Boy does and some of the shit he's doing on both the foreign and domestic fronts does seem aimed at creating conditions so that the Baby Jesus can come back and kill all the infidels.

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 4:54 PM  

  • You know, around here, people hardly even flinched after 911. LIfe didn't change except for certain streets were blocked off and there were tanks at Radio Free Europe. Things here are exactly the same, as they always are.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 5:00 PM  

  • Reality based. I did a little tour of the magazine covers Time, Newsweek, etc, just to be sure I wasn't alone, and they're all bad.

    And then there's the appearance of Bush. Through all the crap they've done wron, and all the mistakes, he stayed upbeat. Until Tuesday with Maliki. I'm not proud, but I think that rattled me too.

    I'm always afraid to post on this sort of stuff, because I'm afraid it's just me. But in this case, people just seem down.

    And Praguetwin, not a surprise. Prague Rocks.

    As a more real answer, I would guess that in general, the people of Europe tend to have a more stable "longer view" and that probably tends to moderate some of the vicisitudes that instant America experiences. Plus, It's not your country that's imploding.



    By Blogger mikevotes, at 5:13 PM  

  • I've been interested to see a shift among the anons and wingnuts.
    Several times in the past week I have seen the comment; "I vote for Bush and he let me down..."
    It's like realization is dawning.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 6:44 PM  

  • Maybe it's just the heat wave. Over 80 dead in Calif., alone.

    It's caution. Americans know things are not going well in Iraq. The new violence with Israel and her neighbors, could get out of hand. Say for instance if Israel bombs Syria to stop supplies from getting to Hezballah.

    By Blogger Time, at 7:13 PM  

  • I think alot of it was just my projection, (feeling better, thanks) but there does semm to be a palpable tension among people.

    Cartledge, I had that exact conversation with my uncle on Saturday, a retired Washington Republican player. His was, "I voted for him in 2000 and 2004, but now I think he may go down as the worst president ever." This guy knows both Republican party and foreign policy. I do have to say that he is more of an old style Republican, a bit more moderate and leery of the Christian wing.

    Time, yeah. I feel this real tension. And, curiously, I think it's the wall to wall coverage of Israel Lebanon that's creating it because, as you point out, those images are resonating with a general opinion about Iraq.

    I think Cartledge got it. It's like a mass awakening of the trouble we're really in.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 8:59 PM  

  • By the powers I hope so. I've been up and down like a toilet lid with the events of the past few weeks.
    I don't think I've experienced a more depressing period in my life so far as the future of our world.
    Having said that, no one around me personally is even slightly aware of how close we potentially are to disaster.
    There are days when I will discuss anything rather than rehash the mess.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 11:10 PM  

  • I think for me the most depressing was being jet-lagged coming back to Prague after a flight that took off 47 hours into Bush's 48 hour warning to Saddam. By the time I got to London, there were already newpapers with pictures of things blowing up. I spent the next two weeks watching the war unfold at ungodly hours. Baghdad is only a couple hours ahead of Prague, and watching live heightened the feeling of proximity.

    It really felt like the end. The sense of doom was overwhelming. Since then, nothing has been able to break through. Lebanon is no surprise now. This is pretty much how I saw the future then.


    I think also that Europeans are unimpressed by these little wars, considering their own history. This is foolish, but understandable.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 2:40 AM  

  • Cartledge, I remember having sililar swings during the intifada and reoccupation in 2000(?) that brought Sharon to power, although they weren't as deep.

    Praguetwin, That must've been an odd experience.

    And, I don't know if it's foolish. A longer view tends to moderate the swings a little.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 7:24 AM  

  • Nope. It's not just you.

    It's the depression that progressives have been feeling for years, and the general populace is just now coming to realize. Denial is powerful, but it will inevitably give way to reality when it's undeniable.

    By Blogger GreyHair, at 11:49 AM  

  • We've talked about this before, how it comes in waves, but this one I'm noticing outside myself in the tsreets of Houston.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 12:25 PM  

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