Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Next Depression Will Be Televised

I recently posted a link to this Boston Globe piece to my Facebook page and moved on to other reading. Yet I cannot quite forget one aspect of the piece: a key distinction between a potential "new" Depression and the "Great" Depression of the '30s.

Drake Bennett (who must have been named after a soap opera character) writes that, unlike Great Depression-imagery of block-long bread lines, Dust Bowl storms, and other public displays of poverty, a new Depression would be notable for a general lack in public suffering. Here's a snip:
[A] depression circa 2009 might be a less visible and more isolating experience. With the diminishing price of televisions and the proliferation of channels, it's getting easier and easier to kill time alone, and free time is one thing a 21st-century depression would create in abundance. Instead of dusty farm families, the icon of a modern-day depression might be something as subtle as the flickering glow of millions of televisions glimpsed through living room windows, as the nation's unemployed sit at home filling their days with the cheapest form of distraction available.
There's something eerie and profoundly sad about that image, a Depression marked by increasing isolation and media anesthesia. I can't seem to get that image of flickering television screens off my mind.

Read the entire piece: Depression 2009: What would it look like?


detroit dog said...

Very interesting article. Some things I agree with, and some I don't.

But I do believe we'll see a rise in the crafts movement. People will begin creating a lot of their own goods, and some will get expert at it and be able to make a living at that eventually. In a few years, we could become a country that is known for the quality and/or expertise of its crafts.

Andrew Wood said...

I dig your optimism!