Faustian Bargains etc.Posted: January 15, 2014
[This is one of my favorite cartoons from last year. I ended up trading it with my friend, John T. Unger for one of his lovely sculptures.]
We always like to think we can make far more bargains than we actually can. Not only do we want to have our cake and eat it, we like nothing better than deluding ourselves that we can get away with it.
We like to think our beloved San Francisco Bay Area can be both a hotbed of West Coast hippy counterculture, affordable housing and all that good ol’ community activist stuff, while also becoming one of the hottest crucibles of capitalism the world has ever seen, without either directly affecting the environment ot the glorious quality of life we knew in past decades.
We like to think our beloved, God-fearin’ Red States can maintain their relatively high standards of living while still closing themselves off culturally to the rest of the world.
We like to think we deserve to make a good living as musicians off the Internet, even though nobody we actually know personally has paid a dime for recorded music in over a decade.
We don’t want the NSA snooping around our Internets, but we don’t like people flying airplanes into tall buildings, either.
We like everything to be sustainable, but we prize convenience over most things.
And so on, and so on. It’s just us, trying to make sense of the world, imperfectly.
We all try to make bargains. In fact that”s all we ever do.
We’re just wired that way, imperfectly.