24 November 2011

One Thanklessly Productive Generation

One of the many things I am - or ought to be - thankful for:

That our US holiday of Thanksgiving hasn't (yet?) been moved to Sunday or Monday, the better to accommodate our global work, money and stock-trading schedules. (Don't give 'em ideas, right?)

No doubt I'm being way too curmudgeonly for a festive occasion, but stranger things have happened. Certainly our own glorious Age is no stranger to strangeness. In fact, I'd be amazed if any industrial era since 1914 has been more zealous to facilitate the global flow of all things busy - work, trade, money, influence, POWER - than these past sixteen-odd years. Anyhow, we sure have been bustling along. With, in some quarters, hardly so much as a pause for regret through that bitter fall-winter-spring of '08-'09. Ah, but then who among even our wildest optimists could have dreamed that, by 24 November 2011, we'd have so much to show for it all?

It's beginning to dawn on me that the serious, hell-for-leather pursuit of productivity is, in its upshot, not all that different from our other famous American pursuit, that of happiness. In other words, the more we pursue productivity - the more we press and strain and lunge and snarl and claw for it - the more the mercurial Beast eludes us. Until one day it finally tires of the whole ridiculous sport, and turns and snarls back. And then - ever so quietly and resolutely - it starts to hunt us.

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