July 18th, 2006

ozarque figure

Emotional weather; part twelve...

It seems to me that over the course of this discussion a consensus has been reached on at least these two propositions:

1. There is some kind of pervasive presence of very negative emotion all around us here in the U.S. Whether we perceive it as an emotional weather front or as an epidemic or as some other metaphor, it's there.

2. We don't really know what to do about it, or even if anything can be done about it.
[Not that there haven't been a number of suggestions posted; there have, and they seem to be determined by the metaphor we've chosen for the phenomenon, which is to be expected.]

And now I wonder which of these things is going on:

All these people who were already just waiting for the next awful thing to happen are able to point to the horrific mess in the Middle East -- with all its built-in horrific consequences for the rest of the world -- and say, "See? I told you so. It's hopeless."

or....

All these people who were already just waiting for the next awful thing to happen are saying, "Now it's going to get really bad. Now we're finally going to hit bottom; now it's going to get as bad as it can get. And that means that now there's nowhere to go but UP."

Or maybe it's something else that hasn't occurred to me, instead of just those two alternatives?