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Erik Hare

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Blogs by Erik Hare

Ars Gratia Fructis
3/24/2008 5:31:46 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]


Itís Tuesday, the day I answer my mail. Iíve gotten a lot in the last week, a lot of it in response to my series ďGenerationsĒ on the potential for major generational change in the US election of 2008. But first, I liked this one:

I donít think itís fair to focus on the publishing industry when all of the arts and artists are spending a lot of time wringing their hands about the future of their craft.

An excellent point. The more I think about it, this is the most important thing that anyone has thrown back at me in a while Ė and my whining about the state of things gets a lot of things hurled in my direction. But it is true that arts are in a great state of flux right now, particularly in the richest nations. How many movies made have a number in their title? How many painters are major cultural figures? Even in music, the most accessible and visceral of all forms is stagnant currently. The great hopes are coming from less-rich nations like Brasil and India; while we can import their music and other art easily, however, the written word needs good translations.

Why is art in such a state of flux? Some of it I have no idea about, some is probably a response to chasing material wealth too long and hard, but a lot is likely generational change. And thatís my topic of the moment:

OK, so you wrote about the generational change in the election. Why didnít you just come out and say you support Obama and this is his playbook?

I support Obama and I think this is his playbook. Happy? I did it the way I did because Iíd like people to understand how and why the generational change will make a very different strategy possible whether they are Democrats or not. The potential change is a real event that it would be silly to have an opinion on; how to exploit it is up to you.

You glossed over differences between GenX and GenY constantly, which doesnít make sense. Obamaís message is one of Hope, which wonít have the GenX appeal that you can count on to group them together.

I skipped over that because I felt that being cynical or hopeful is a stereotype. I go in and out of cynicism constantly myself, and Iíve been known to be hopeful. While thereís little doubt that, on average, Gen-Xers have a higher threshold to believe in things, we can do it. We even enjoy it when it happens. While I think we can easily describe how experiences growing up will color attitudes, on average, I donít think we can really get into divisions based on hope. In short, weíre not that freakiní sour, are we?

Do you really think that opinions on what you call the ďAmerican EmpireĒ are generational? Wouldnít that depend more on things like national origin and class?

I decided to ignore class issues entirely, which I realize could be a shortcoming. But in the end, I do think that your opinion about our Empire depends on how much you came to believe you owed it for protecting you at some point in your life. Traditionals helped to create what we have out of necessity and fear, and Boomers who grew up ducking and covering got at least a little of that drilled into them with grainy black and white films. Those of us who grew up seeing the limits of our Empire and those who grew up after the fall of Communism (which roughly includes all Millenials) wouldnít have any reason to find it particularly useful other than its ability to deliver cheap gasoline; at $4 a gallon, well, even that argument is pretty thin.

I think thereís an ethnic and class issue you could raise here, as you can in any war; even the Civil War was derided as ďRich manís war, poor manís fightĒ in its day. What Iím arguing is that there is a point where even the rich arenít interested in the war, and that point is coming soon because of generational change.

Thatís all I have space for this week. If you like what you see, please let your family and friends know that Iím out here trying to get a good discussion going Ė one that you wonít hear in the mainstream press. Thatís what this is all about, whether you think Iím on to something important or seriously delusional. Whatever the case, send me mail as wabbitoid47 at yahoo.com and I promise to write back.

Thanks for reading, itís for my readers that I do this at all!


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More Blogs by Erik Hare
• Let the Real Games Begin - Sunday, August 24, 2008
• Soul Mate - Friday, August 22, 2008
• Breaking the Code - Tuesday, August 19, 2008
• The Investment Express - Sunday, August 17, 2008
• The Verse of a Song - Friday, August 15, 2008
• Generic Politics - Tuesday, August 12, 2008
• Reductio ad Extremis - Sunday, August 10, 2008
• I'll Have it Bronzed - Thursday, August 07, 2008
• Lotsa Vacation - Tuesday, August 05, 2008
• Generations: Re-Invention - Sunday, August 03, 2008
• Happy as a Pig. Just a Pig. - Friday, August 01, 2008
• The D Word - Tuesday, July 29, 2008
• Writing Bubble - Monday, July 28, 2008
• Munchie - Friday, July 25, 2008
• Ode an die Freude - Wednesday, July 23, 2008
• Citizen Journalism - Monday, July 21, 2008
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• Leadership - Tuesday, July 15, 2008
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• Nice Work if You Can Get It - Sunday, July 06, 2008
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