“Introduce a little anarchy, you upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I am an agent of chaos.”
I re-watched the Dark Knight this afternoon, appreciating it even more than my first viewing in July. Only in hindsight, did I recognize Heath Ledger’s now defunct character as 2008’s official soothsayer. Not long after this movie reached its 4th or 5th hundred million, we discovered the real meaning of chaos as our financial pillars collapsed amongst a wreck of greed, ignorance and faith. But even the Joker may not have been prepared for the forces unleashed this fall. At least he had his psychosis to fall back on; we on the other hand, expect rationality amongst the ruin to always push us through the slog.
I have yet to meet anyone particularly optimistic about 2009. Hopeful — maybe. An American virtue for sure but certainly universally humanistic as well. Do we do hope better here? I guess we will find our pretty soon. Cause it’s not just the raw financial loses that turned the Holidays into slow motion flashbacks. It’s the sense of going backwards, as a country and as individuals, that grinched up our favorite time of year. Americans are a particularly forward-looking people, though not always to our benefit. The last few months have challenged this trait like no other series of events in modern memory. Kind of like a climber who just slipped a few hundred yards in one fell swoop and recognizes he hasn’t the energy to get back from whence he came.
So is the American Century over, did it end years ago and we failed to realize it, or are we in a new place. Somewhere with fantastic opportunity and extreme risk? I can go with that for now, though it’s our duty to discriminate between the two. Or maybe this place is not so new, just hidden within our historical spirit, waiting to be discovered.
Happy New Year