Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Leaning against the Pillar of Truth
The end of the year is entirely arbitrary.
As a creature of habit, I say this every year, the irony of which is not lost on me.
But the world is changing. The climate, both in atmospheric science, and in the wider realms of metaphor. But it has been changing for a while and this fact is ensconced in antinomy: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même.
To me, change is where and when you finally see it.
For most of my life, the nation in which I live has been moving toward an aristocratic form of government. As the Aristocracy (who maintain their privilege through generations by legal casuistry, but they do it nonetheless) consolidates its power, the middle class degrades. The panem et circenses Juvenal describes in the 10th Satire exist as strongly as ever, feeding us.
The change? Much of America has finally embraced the truth: the billionaires are no longer running things behind the scenes but have taken manifest power. Their children inherit wealth, names and titles. How is this not de facto Aristocracy?
A land that has been fed princesses and princes since childhood needs the rule of the landed few.
I lean against the Pillar of Truth and wonder if I should go work for them: as an artist now. Since our rulers have brought Renaissance Nepotism back into fashion, perhaps I can land a job as an edifying scrivener. Shakespeare did it, after all, fawning over his own “1%-er” and I like to think I can find a patron too. After all “public” support for the arts is disappearing anyway, and then I might actually have a place to live.
But there are dangers. In the Renaissance I know I would have at best been a courtesan: a learned hole and that’s about it. Still, considering the people in power now, I wouldn’t be surprised if that job title saw resurgence if it hasn’t already under another name.
The Pillar doesn’t feel quite as strong. At best it supports the suspicion that the Good Old Days Never Were and We’re Living In Them Now.
Maybe I’ll even be famous once I’m dead.