well shake it up now, all you’ve got


I mean, you have to believe, even in oddly desperate times such as these, that the difference between those who survive and those who fail is not a matter of predestination, but an understanding that when a huge tree falls, something else will get the sunlight. If this is the biggest implosion of the American economy since the Depression, and things are now going to be fundamentally different, then there must be a way you can benefit from the chaos.

In every plot, there is an “inciting incident” that allows the rest of a story to take place. Even in your own lives, a distraction is created, and you find that you can slip past the doorman, but only if you act within two seconds. Think of the stories about prisoners of war, stories that exist only because the order broke down for a few minutes, escape was glimpsed, then seized.

If it were up to the people that have everything, there would be no variance to the established order. They would continue to say “Twas Ever Thus” to enforce The Way Things Are, and they’d guilelessly sail on forever in an unending, smooth glide, uninterrupted by turbulence or rear-view mirrors.

They will continue to have almost everything, even in an upheaval, so resentment is a futile option. But in times like these, the special privileges that used to be open only to them can be pinched by you, oozing through the cracks and chasms of a superstructure that has been suddenly upended.

The writers’ strike made 2008 a bizarre year in Hollywood, with lots of doomsaying and fear, but we chose to believe that when the status quo got throttled, there might be a way for us weirdos to sneak in. If the stock market were to crash again, maybe you make a little play on something that takes off when times get better. And maybe after eight years of the worst President in history, our collective misery will rewrite the rules long enough to elect an African American with a funny name as our leader.

I mean, you have to hope that you stay flexible and land on the right side of history, right? You have to be a survivor. Let old ideas fear the reaper; Shiva may be the Destroyer, but he also makes all things possible.

0 thoughts on “well shake it up now, all you’ve got

  1. Shawn Sutton

    Let’s just hope that after all of this that the country doesn’t hit the “status quo” button. It appears that Obama has regained his lead.
    I wonder if it will be enough- Andrew Sullivan spoke of him needing between a 5 to 7 point lead to overcome the “undecided/racist” voter. I truly hope we have moved beyond this in our country- but perhaps that is the problem in saying “our” country… hmm?

  2. lola

    It’s me and Elizabeth Edwards channeling Leonard Cohen’s vision in battling philandering spouses and financial upheaval:
    “Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in.”

  3. T.J.

    Maybe there will be enough upheaval to allow a third party to get some folks elected to office and draw the Repubs and Dems away from the fringes and back toward the middle, where they used to be. And we can stop the fast-progressing Socialization of America that both parties seem to be moving us all toward.


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