I woke up this morning… to a flat tire.
I guess a week on California roads, which resemble the roads of some Third World Countries, was enough stress for one of my tires to pop.
Although I was going to go into the office to help out the International Team at Nextdoor, I had to bail on that and take care of that tire and some other life shit at home.
Dwelling on what the heck I should write about today (because who wants to write about life shit– we have enough status updates on that on FB) I realized that the air has not only left my tires but the air has gone out of the American empire. I know there are many Americans who object to the word “empire” as we were initially colonized and don’t consider ourselves a colonizer (although we fucking colonized the Indians and the slaves), but there’s no doubt in my mind that America truly gained the status of an empire of sorts, post WWII.
When the air goes out of an empire, a period of decadence sets in prior to the final downfall: think of the decadence at the French Court right before the French Revolution, the decadence of the Roman empire, the decadence of the Russian Empire and the decadence of the Habsburg Empire. These periods of decadence are marked by a certain abandon and living large of a select few (did you read that 8 billionaires now own half of the world’s wealth?) while a large part of the population feels oppressed and exploited. Louis XIV called himself the sun king and surrounded himself with gold, and there were many others like him who elevated themselves to godlike stature and embraced gold as their color and interiors (and showers) of choice. Hmmm. Sound familiar?
But the decadence is not a mere sense of opulence for opulence’s sake, it also comes with a letting go of certain norms, social and otherwise. In this country, that letting go of norms is not only represented by Trump’s insane tweets, violating all sorts of norms of “presidential behavior” “leadership” and “the dignity of the office” but there’s also an erosion of norms when it comes to reporting news, and in particular fake news. So the so-called post-truth era we have entered now is a form of journalistic decadence that is hastening our downfall.
Finally, when the air goes out of an empire and decadence has set in, the decadent-in-chief is usually someone who’s not quite clear in the head, if not borderline retarded. We had mad king George, loopy king Ludwig, Ivan the Terrible, that crazy Roman dude Caligula (as well as Nero), and, in more recent history, dotty ‘Dolf Hitler. No doubt, I’m skipping a bunch of equally renowned lunatic leaders, but what’s so interesting is that the demise of empire is accompanied by a period of decadence and a leader who should be assessed by a shrink, but instead, gets the privilege of running the country. Talk about decadent… Anyway, that leader is the icing on the cake and seals the empire’s already wobbly fate.
So you see, even a flat tire can be a telling event and with enough spin, I’ve presented you with another blog.
I could use some decadence on the domestic front but I think I’ll use that for another blog when the well has really dried up and I feel like writing about orgies.