Change you can freak out about

by Mark Morford
This is the amazing thing about rabid global economic recessions combined with volatile environmental collapses combined with a tasty national identity crisis combined with a truly historic, revolutionary president combined with a gnawing sense that our species might not be long for this world after all combined with the overwhelming sense that something, somewhere, something big and meaty and interesting and maybe even profoundly and butt-shakingly unexpected, has got to give.
This is the feeling: anything can happen. Nearly every day in this New Millennium Wonderland, we are swarmed by distressing, heartbreaking tales of woe and hardship and layoff, only to spin right around and read about something positive and uplifting and innovative emerging from it all, some unanticipated, rise-from-the-ashes kind of thing that whipsaws your perspective and pinches the nipples of your worldview.
Here's the really delightful part: Between those two extremes lies an even more intriguing and juicy category, stories and ideas that fall somewhere in between heartbreaking and hopeful, tales we can't quite categorize or define as good or bad, right or wrong, liberal or conservative, hard or soft, sweet or sour, sacred or profane, spit or swallow just yet.
And why? Well, partly because the ideas they contain have yet to fully sort themselves out, but mostly it's because, by and large, we as a culture have never really been here before, never in this exact spot in time and circumstance, with this particular set of traumas and dramas and apocalypse and opportunity, and therefore have no idea what many of these grand social notions -- economy, health, gender, God, capitalism -- all really mean anymore.
(Not that we ever really did, I realize, but our massive, bloated, BS-happy Greatest Generation ego sure led us to believe we did. How cute we were!)
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