Sunday, November 27, 2011
sunday with Crow
I thought you might enjoy seeing a picture of Crow relaxing in his sanctum earlier today when I carried in our tea and a package of dark chocolate digestive biscuits to share. Such small luxuries can make grand occasions of life and we enjoyed some conversation about the world as it is and as it used to be. It seems to both of us that although the past is gone and much about it is best forgotten there are still many things to learn and carry into the future.
Crow likes to surround himself with some of the artifacts he's collected over the course of a very long life. Naturally, some of them he left in place because even though they were originally dedicated to him and his friends moving them would have been impossible as well as rude.
You'll probably laugh as I did when he told me that Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun weren't such bad guys to hang around with once you got to know them. He made a good point when he mentioned that at least they did their massacring, raping and pillaging right up front rather than being sneaky and dishonest about their activities and real motives.
Some of his happiest memories are of the times he spent in company with William Morris who was worried about English society for similar reasons we worry about our own culture now. He said that, in a "true society", where neither luxuries nor cheap trash were made, machinery could be improved and used to reduce the hours of labour. Rather than the clamor made by futurists for faster machines, progress, capitalism, competition and the creation of wealth Morris thought the function of the machine should be to free workers from drudgery rather than displace them. His aim was to create as much beauty as he and his associates could for as many people as they could. It's strange to think that in our own times there's no designer, politician or industrialist who would dare to make concrete proposals for improving the lives of ordinary people.
After a happy autumn spent watching and participating in OWS events we were saddened about the feeding frenzy we heard about this past Black Friday. People get confused and desperate, all the more so when they're being told the only hope for the economy to rise, and perhaps for their jobs to return, is that they max out their credit cards. Crow mentioned it wasn't unlike the peasants rushing to the bakeries to buy cake just before the French Revolution. I have a feeling Occupy will return with the spring flowers..
It wouldn't be a surprise to any of us to see a world economy based on the false premise of infinite supplies of fossil fuel grind to a serious slowdown in the near future and there's no doubt there'll be trouble. It's more than likely we'll see a near future where 2012 is just another date on the calendar, the Singularity is forgotten as people figure out how to grow vegetables on their balconies and keep chickens in the extra bathroom, and the Rapture leaves everyone behind. Then again, as Crow said today there's always the possibility that in the longterm a larger world will be more comfortable for everyone.
We'll just have to wait and see - or at least Crow will.