Back in the 1970s when I was in my early 30s, my father insisted on telling his children that “the party is over.” The dark ages were coming. People were living beyond their means and consuming useless junk. They were addicted to trivial entertainment and up to their eyeballs in debt.
“What you sow, so shall you reap,” he paraphrased the Bible. “Civilization is doomed.”
Some 35 years later I find myself reflecting on my father’s bleak prophecy in a fitness facility working up a sweat to a pounding chorus of the Beastie Boys’ “You Have to Fight for Your Right to Party.” Sarah Palin is on the television monitor explaining how the “common folks” are going to Take Back America. Pundits and scholars are making dire predictions about peak oil, peak civilizations, complexity theory and the inevitability of large scale collapse and rebirth. An economist tells a journalist not to worry. Americans will wake up and start consuming again. There is plenty of room left in the growth curve. We just have to unleash and deregulate human initiative.
So is the party really over? Get The Drift for one opinion.