Monday, May 18, 2009

The silence

I've been quiet for the last two weeks. I've been exhausted in a new way (for me): I simply haven't been able to access my mental faculties in the usual manner. It's been a self-inflicted exhaustion. A friend had written a play which I thought was good and which had a main character I felt I could become. But I also wanted to keep working and blogging through the whole thing. So I did. All went well until about a week after the show ended. I did a post on May 1st in my usual manner, and then kaboom! I stopped functioning as Lloyd. I've been able to mimic normal human behavior with those who don't normally see too much of me, but to those who spend a lot of time with me such as my wife I've been, well — subdued, a shell.

Anyway I'm slowly coming back. Maybe I needed some time out to get another perspective in any case. I've certainly had that. With no "higher" mental functioning for a couple of weeks I've been effectively living the post-industrial life. Is it good?

It's OK if you don't have too much to do.

But I've also come to realise how busy we make ourselves. I'm talking about the middle class here by the way — the ones who shoulder the burden of keeping the Civilisation Show on the road. The middle class needs to show enthusiasm and do the right thing (according to who?). The middle class needs energy and purpose in order to delay gratification, and to work those longer hours keeping the less focused up to the mark and on the job. But the Game is up even if most can't see it yet. And what will the middle class do if we can't keep going as we have?

Here in my little town we have a lot of older, burned out FMC (Former Middle Class). Some keep dreaming of one more round in the Big Time but most know we're shot. We're wandering around in a daze a lot of the time. The younger people are more energetic and less nuanced — more easily enthused and co-opted — for now. The best go off to the city looking for the bigger Game, to return for an occasional visit. But what shall we do when we can all see the Game is over?

We've mostly been able to find ourselves a place in the world in the past fifty or so years, and it's been easy enough to find reasons for the failure of those who haven't. What happens when finding a place in the bigger world becomes an exceptional struggle? Will new, local, games come into being more or less spontaneously?

It's going to be an interesting time. Try and stay tuned!


Elizabeth Richardson said...

Good to see you back Lloyd...the play was terrific but must have been draining - the pressure was high right from the first read.

WE all need to take time'll be back better than ever I'm sure.

mjd said...

Hi Lloyd, so good to see you back! Hope you can get back your usual inspirational head of steam! Hmm, I'm thinking of a T-shirt that says, "My stimulus package comes in a cup" :-)

This blog is "South Gippsland Futures". I know the game is up, and so do you. What kind of future can we help make happen for local people? Would love to hear your thoughts.