Cool and damp. Supposed to rain. But it’s Houston. I got some rain on me yesterday. It didn’t actually rain as such, which is why I say I “got some on me.” I had drops of water from the sky hit me at various times of the day, in various parts of the city. But it never actually rained. It was even briefly sunny in places.
I spent most of the day running around. Did my pickups. Gas is mostly between $2.89 and $3.09. Went to Costco. Costco had many of the things I missed last time back in stock. Still missing the smoked almonds though. Selection of rice and flour is still reduced. Pork was reasonably priced (~$2.50/lb) and chicken was too, so I got some of each. There were items on sale, just like pre-wuflu, although not as on sale. They have something that looks like king crab for sale at only $25/lb. which is a huge decrease. Of course it is ‘golden’ crab, and not actually Alaskan King Crab. Mostly the same, almost as big…
And that seems to be the state of the world at the moment. Mostly the same. Almost as big. Somewhat fewer choices. And drab. FFS, it’s drab. Cars are all the same silhouette. And selling in the same drab colors – black, white, red, dark blue, silver. Houses are black and white. I’m astounded by how many new buildings are black, white, and grey. The store complex with our local Spec’s liquor store, Starbux, and various small storefronts just painted the whole brick complex white and black. It was red, cream, brown, and natural brick and stone colors. The lack of color in the built world tells me that people are not happy and optimistic.
I’m seeing more homeless, and they are bolder. They are sleeping and setting up housekeeping right in the open, right in the heart of commercial areas. I’m also seeing more vacant commercial space at the same time there is an explosion of residential construction. All those people moving here are going to need jobs, eventually, when their excess cash from selling in Cali but buying here runs out…
And don’t get me started on what passes for pop music. What isn’t violent and nihilistic hedonism is depressing glorification of mental illness.
Nowhere is there conditioning for restraint, self control, or self sacrifice. Those are three of the pillars that built and supported western society. And they’re gone from our stories, our heroes, and our culture. That idea alone is probably worth an essay and a deeper look.
We grew up with those ideas firmly in place. Our parents sacrificed so their kids could have a better life. Their parents did the same, and sacrificed their bodies and minds in war in the belief that they had to, to build a future to live in. Our stories and culture were suffused with the ideas of self restraint and self sacrifice, with the ordinary man expecting that to lead to success, and while for the hero the outcome was often his death, he did it anyway. As individuals self sacrifice didn’t always lead to good outcomes, for society, SELF -restraint and -sacrifice, done by choice, led to a better world for everyone else.
And that’s almost entirely gone. There are pockets. Farmers. Soldiers (warriors). Parents. Teachers. But in the ranks of those, the numbers decrease every year, replaced by parodies of what was.
It makes me sad to see fundamental changes like this. There isn’t an easy or quick fix when something so vital (in retrospect) is removed from the culture. I doubt that it’s even possible to get back to a point where those things can be restored, without a complete and massive destruction of what it’s become. Things never “go back to normal.” We are all of us and always changed by what happens to us and around us.
Stack all the things. It’s going to be a while.