Blogging Post-Election

Blogging Post-Election

I’ve been in something of a blogging slump. I mean, it seems weird to be blogging about say, my newfound love of salted butter, in a world in which the financial markets are all collapsing and we have a president-elect who astonishes one every day with his deliberation and well, leadership. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt this way. As though I have a government I could actually trust to do the right thing — that is, even if they’re not doing every little thing I’d like, that I trust is actually working for the good of the nation (and the good of the global community). I’m finding it a little unsettling — unsettling in a good way, but unsettling nonetheless.

I’m also a little unmoored by the sudden manner in which the nation has been plunged into living small — and the screeching from the media that by doing so, we’re destroying the American economy. Something seems off to me. If our economy is so delicate that by simply not buying a new car every year we can destroy it, then perhaps we need to rethink our relationship to “growth” — as even Obama has said, every crisis bears an opportunity, and perhaps this is one. Can we, as a nation, rethink our relationship to stuff? Do we really need to consume at the rate we have been? Can we dial it back without causing a total collapse? Where is the balance?

I’m a little disoriented. It might take a while to figure out what it means to live in a world where you don’t actually feel like you’re shouting in the wilderness.

6 thoughts on “Blogging Post-Election

  1. Whilst I don’t enjoy the current credit crunch and I do feel for those who lose their jobs, home, hope, I have to say that it is great that people are consuming less of the planet’s resources and thinking carefully about whetehr they really need to buy quite so much stuff. Shopping seems to have replaced religion in our society and I, for one, welcome this change in people.

  2. Funny Jen — actually, I think that’s what’s freaking me out a little bit — I’m so used to being the weirdo-underdog — and now “our guy” won, and he seems to be doing the right thing, and it turns out that not wanting to live in a McMansion and drive a big car *was* as sensible as we all thought it was, but gee — did the whole financial system really have to implode for people to figure it out? Just seems sort of … extreme. And freaky. Just a little freaked I guess …

  3. Unfortunately, I think it did need to be extreme for many people to wake up and realize that less is more. On the bright side, though, a number of people are remembering that when they had less and did more for themselves, they had a good life overall, even if they didn’t have material wealth. So we can both learn from them and show others the way.

    I do agree, though, it’s freaky, and I still have my panic attacks that it’s only going to get worse…..

  4. I agree, it’s scary to suddenly be in this place where everything seems to be crashing down.

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that we need to rethink our economy if it depends on everyone buying something new. I don’t think that our current economic methods are sustainable, and while I don’t claim to know enough about socialism to know if that’s really where Obama is taking us as so many people claim, but I do think that we need change, regardless of where it comes from. It is frustrating to me that people are not more flexible and can say “Hey, this isn’t working so well, lets try something new for four years,” instead of crying wolf and talking about the end of the world as we know it.

  5. Hey Dakota — I do know enough about economics and political history to assure you that Obama is a far cry from a socialist — he’s proposing rolling back taxes on the wealthy to the levels they were at during the Clinton administration. The right uses “socialism” as a boogeyman these days — while we’ll probably see a return to a more progressive tax system, that’ll be good for all of us who are not enormously rich, and even my friends up in the upper tiers have admitted to me that the nation is in such dire straits that they understand they need to pitch in.
    The bigger challenge is figuring out a way to re-tool our economy along models of more modest and sustainable growth, rather than betting everything on continuing growth rates that are unrealistic. I’m quite hopeful about some of the proposals for federal investment in infrastructure and green technologies — although I think we’re all in for a tough year or two.

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