the end of another dull and lurid year, and a new one just begun . . .

From "The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same" Department:

Quotations from recent reading which frame the problem . . .

"The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appears."


—Antoni Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks (1971)

"What human beings seek to learn from nature is how to use it to dominate wholly both it and human beings. Nothing else counts."


—Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, The Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments (1972)


 . . . and describe the symptoms:

"No, you didn’t know my Zikmund, because he was not himself when he came with me to the camp. Because he lost his mind when he saw them killing his mother. A heart like a glass bell, a light crack, and it doesn’t ring anymore . . ." 


—Fred Wander, The Seventh Well (1971)

"Retailers are down 20 percent. Auto industry is in the dump. Housing market doesn’t have a heartbeat. It is one of the worst times on record for America. This is our moment."


—Jason Reitman’s Up In The Air (2009), based on the novel by Walter Kirn