Saturday, July 02, 2022

A Midyear Review.

 Having - more or less - passed the middle of the year, it seems to me one of the strangest years of the last three.

2020 was unusual in that we went from "full society" to "no public society" in something like five months.  2021 was essentially the "we live under wraps" year.  In theory, then 2022 was the year that the wraps were supposed to come off.

And they did.  But not really in the way that I think we anticipated.

In some ways, life has returned to normal.  Most things are open.  Masks are - truly - purely optional at this point.  And judging by what even I see as I do my limited outbound trips, a great many people are out and about.

But other things happened of course.  Just as things started to "get back to normal" (in quotes, mind you), other things happened.  A war started - precisely the sort of war that no-one expected, which, while being fought thousands of miles away, ended up impacting the whole economic system as we know it.  Fuel pries popped up and over the ranges that they hit pre-Plague, with no sign in the near future that they are going to drop in the immediate future.  The supply chain snarls which some (not here, of course) thought magically would go away did not mystically dissipate.  And inflation, the thing which most thinking people predicted would happen, did happen.  All of this in six months.

It is as if one woke up from a bad dream only to find out that the bad dream may have had some points to recommend itself.  

The previous two years ended, if not as we had thought they would, at least predictably:  in 2020, we stayed in our homes and the world was shut down and in 2021, we went out more even as the world was starting to open up.  Given first six months, I literally have no clue how this year will close out at all.

It is amusing, in a dark sort of way, to wonder what the end of the year holds.  It would be lovely, of course, to predict some sort of unexpected happy ending - but that would be as unexpected as it is unlikely.  All other roads, I fear, lead to at best more of the same.  At worst, they lead to very dark places.

At the very least, I think, it is safe to say that as we have lived through times of great abundance, we are looking at greater times of hardship.  At worst, I fear, we are looking at times for which we will refer to these as "The Good Old Days".

13 comments:

  1. Nylon123:43 AM

    To me we are living in "interesting times" and considering the probable origination of the "Wuhan Flu" (IMHO) an apt description. My parents lived through the Great Depression as children, and I never heard them once describe those years as The Good Old Days. To those who believe in "fundamental change" perhaps these ARE The Good Old Days.

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    1. Nylon12, I remember back to the gas spike in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina (which the dollar did not have another 17 years of devaluation). At that time, I remember thinking how insane that price was - but it came back down. Looking back on that, it seemed like a "good old day". We have now eclipsed that and then some. If this is the rate of "progress", what will the future bring?

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  2. 2020, 2020-1, 2020-2.... This is the fruit of those who make policy based on fantasy. In the real world, we know these ideas don't work. But the insulated don't, so they push for cloud cuckoo land. And it's nearly here.

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    1. STxAR, for years we wondered what would happen if the least well trained to lead and make decisions actually got to the point where they could lead and make decisions. Indeed that day seems to have arrived. Unfortunately - or perhaps not surprisingly - the results are predictable.

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  3. Anonymous7:14 AM

    Normalcy bias will see a lot of us in our graves prematurely, I suspect.
    Newtons first law applied in a social context.
    One of the most horrible pictures (to me) to come out of the second world war was a simple family photo, laying in the mud. Behind the cracked glass, a normal everyday Jewish family, ready to go to work and school or wherever. For all their lives it was on the mantle, a cherished memento- How could they have ever seen the horror roaring down on them? People don't, and in many cases won't extrapolate trends- like some pundit said, we can comply our way right into the grave we compliantly dug.
    Normal is not coming home for dinner anytime soon.

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    1. I do not think you are wrong. I have to fight against it every day.

      The example you give is a very good example. Tragically, I expect we will see all too many more in the not so distant future.

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    2. Your last line is priceless.

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  4. A comment on yesterdays news on why we can't expect gas prices to lower was suck it up peasant for the 'liberal world order'. Head of some dept in gov. Oops just gave away was has been hinted out but is now blatant in your face. Like it or not we are in Control. I wonder if we will still celebrate Independence Day?

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    1. GL, I saw the same comment. In a way I at least welcome the honesty, because at least the words cannot be rolled back. But yes, our only expected job is to now enable the world order.

      Often I am somewhat ambivalent about celebrating it, but based on this year, perhaps I shall be more observant - and support independence, at least.

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  5. 2020 was a disaster for America thanks to demonrat congress. They want the same for the fall of 2022 so they can steal the fall elections, too. I pray God will forgive us and prevent that.
    You all be safe and God bless.

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    1. Linda, the last two years have not gone at all like some intended, I am reasonably sure. The question is if those that have suffered through the last two years have had enough.

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  6. Any moment is what we make of it. I won't call any moment a bad moment unless it's filled with pain or loss. The golden age? Yes, there were times that were far better than we see today, but those times were rooted in the need to change based on the dark moments before them.

    Our dark moments will be the seed for new success.

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    1. Fair John. One of the great things I find missing in most every current world and political view is building a better, hopeful future and being something or someone to emulate, not be against.

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