A new week begins and the Mamas and Papas’ song reverberates in my head
Monday Monday can’t trust that day
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday Mornin’ you gave me no warnin’ of what was to be
After last week’s happenings and with the Democratic Convention beginning this week I feel like the song, I just can’t trust this day, this Monday, not to throw me a curve. I could say we live in interesting times, but someone would comment on that being a Chinese/Japanese curse. My response is that we are not the kind of culture that turns conformity to the past into a religious experience, as they have been. We value novelty, newness. We embrace change, at least change that doesn’t too drastically upset our value systems.
However, Peggy Noonan had an interesting take on all the recent interesting times and how we as Americans are reacting to it.
What I wrote about a few weeks ago was my fear that the American people have grown or are growing tired of the heightened drama of the times. Americans like drama in their lives–they like graduations and first jobs and prizes and the birth of a baby in the family; they like triathalons and great stories and local mysteries. They like movement and action on a personal level. But they do not want it on a historical level if they can avoid it.
Historical verses personal “interesting times”–an interesting observation. I can see that. I guess we need boredom, as Peggy put it, at the macro (historical) level so we can enjoy the interesting at the micro (personal) level.
Peggy believes that since 9/11 everything has changed and the macro level may never be boring again. If that is true it may explain the desire for less interesting times in our daily lives that I see in myself and those around me. It is hard to have everything interesting all at the same time. You begin to lose your navigational reference points. You start to feel adrift. Most of us have not grown up as sailors and that floating feeling leaves us with a growing unease. I agree with Peggy that it is possible that, given the option, we as a country might decide to choose boring in November in an effort to remove some the drama surrounding our lives. That would be akin to clapping our hands over our ears to reduce the noise. Not a very constructive approach, I would argue, but a reflex action that could happen. We shall see what develops
Well Monday, what surprises do you have for me today?