17 February 2010

did The Secret cause the Recession?


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January 2018

The title of this post was one of my proudest moments writing this blog.  I remember when i came up with the premise, and it's the reason that i continue to punch keys on this little corner of inter-obsolescence. 

It's a tweet, before there was twitter.  (was there Twitter in 2010?  anyway, i didn't know about it if there was).  A forum to posit incomplete thoughts and premises, and pass them off as modern wisdom. 

This thought was the underlying absurdity of American Capitalism and our (sadly not unique) taste for mumbo jumbo. 

The Secret was a dumb book that was massively popular for a time, particularly when i was a Barnes & Noble bookseller.  The premise was essentially that if you believed in the Secret, you could use its powers to magically make whatever you want to have happen happen.  This is called manifesting.  It's dumb, but kinda fun to think about.

The Secret at its core is a concept about selfishness.  We like to pretend (in magic, but also in capitalism) that we can win, but that there is no one losing on the other end of our win.  Capitalism (again, like magic!), is very good at making things invisible.  In particular the lines that connect things.  You win in capitalism when you find a cheap cool sweater (or a $1 hamburger), and it's easy to pretend that the worker who made that sweater or our entire ecological system aren't losing in that deal.

American capitalism - American oligarchs - are at their core about that same selfishness.  Oligarchs pretend they have magically manifested something that no one else could have, and they are therefore owed what they have taken.  In reality, the world is more McLuhanistic (or Benjaministic?), and most things that are would have been eventually anyway... probably, but in a new way.

10 February 2010


When did everybody start saying "—right?" as a response to everything?

Has anyone else noticed this? There came a time (i think) when everyone decided that "right" was the appropriate response to just about anything.

I'm not sure exactly what it is, but suddenly everyone can say "right" after anyone says anything... and it's not just saying "right" it's asking, sort of, "right.

Anyone else noticed this? I thought it'd started just with a couple I'd met (Val & Sean - seriously, where did you get this), but now suddenly i found everyone saying "right?" after most everything i'd said...

Is this new, or just new to me?