State of the nation
Strictly speaking I ain’t gonna talk about the ‘nation’ of the US of A, but just about New York City. I love this town in so may ways. I’ve just had a great evening down Max Fish catching up with folk and it’s been lovely. Before that I had a wonderful, busy day seeing other friends who I don’t get the chance to see often enough. So what’s the beef?
Well it’s this… A lot of people are thinking of leaving New York at the moment. It’s been a while since 9/11 and the economy has at least stopped it’s tumultuous plummet towards nul points, even if it’s not exactly booming any more. The truth is that many people seem to have lost the belief that New York is an avatar of success and generator of wealth, at least in the circles I move in. People are feeling pressured to live, rather than enjoying the hey day of hard work with good rewards. Now, hard work is stated up front as a minimum requirement to get a job to just survive. And you know what? That’s arse. Pure and simple. People need enjoyment to live their lives. If their jobs don’t provide satisfaction to some level then they look elsewhere and the job becomes an impediment rather than part of a well rounded life. Consequently unhappiness sets in.
This is a bad thing.
Creativity and societal growth can happen anywhere, and maybe it’s simply that the time is not now New York’s, but to my mind NYC is a symbol of all that is good and creative in the US. Yes, money plays a huge part in what happens here, but the truth is that amazing things are made here and people burst with ideas that get proper support to grow. If that doesn’t happen any more then something wonderful has been lost. A symbol that helps not only the US, but a lot of the western world flourish becomes tarnished and less powerful.
Not only is general creativity in flux, but human aspects of relationships seem also to be stiffled. In the same way that people aren’t investing their financial holdings in the stock market, emotional holdings are being held back for ‘safer’ engagements. Physical interactions happen, but more for the physical comfort fuck aspects than deeper emotional aspects. The art shows here are rife with sexual imagery, with little of the deeper ‘love’ type emotional ties visible in their offerings. Even if the choices of art galleries is not indicative of the current emotional tides then the behaviour in bars is much more obvious – there is a predatory aspect in place that is palpable. People want some form of contact and physical will do, spiritual and emotional can wait for the moment for better times.
Most likely this is all part of life’s long term cycles of creation and hibernation/recovery. Over time New York will again regain it’s glamour, and not just on a superficial level. For now though, dealing with the emotional fall out of earlier events, and probably the ‘business first’ focus of a new mayor will continue to take its toll. I’m glad that I got to see New York at its best over the years that I lived here, and know that it will be great again when the time is right. Just a shame that it’s struggling a bit at the moment.