On my commute, I often pass a ute with a huge sign in the back that reads ‘Signs’. This amuses me and I may yet take a photo of it.
If only the true indicators of the zeitgeist were so readily identifiable.
I was reminded this week of a film (They Live) which, although clunky in its realisation and earnestness, somehow manages to pack a real punch (THAT scene..).
If you’ve yet to see it, I won’t spoil the punchline, but it strongly questions our collective readiness to consume.
We’ve progressed beyond mistrust of the grand narratives to near-universal rejection of their promises and yet this doesn’t seem to have been accompanied by a wholesale sense of joy at the enlightenment that would surely follow having abandoned our prior erroneous beliefs.
There remains a meta-narrative that goes largely unchallenged at its apex.
One whereby you get to choose the colour and the market segment. Certainly this represents progress of-a-kind since the days of Mr Ford’s apocryphal Customer Value Proposition. Perhaps this progress has not been linear however.
This week, over eleven years since ‘the largest protest event in human history’ and with the fears of those protesters having inexorably manifested, nobody is celebrating having predicted the outcome.
What malaise has come over us? If I’d pegged the winner of ‘MasterChef’ or ‘The Block’ that far out, I’d be crowing fit to bust, wouldn’t I? Wouldn’t you?
Yet the discourse is so predictable around the ramifications of a war that huge numbers of us didn’t want to commence. Indeed, it wouldn’t be outrageous to suggest that the only reason these minor rumblings are permitted in the centre-left press is to ‘manage our expectations’ around huge loss of life and spiralling fiscal expenditure. And, with the war cheerleaders rallying once again around exactly the same issues that ennervate the chattering classes, it’s like a 2003 time warp this week, except nobody’s on the streets.
In the absence of dark glasses that allow the truth to be known, let’s start the conversation of what collective agency will look like now that we (apparently) no longer believe in fairy tales.