Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Going going gone

Interesting times we are living in. On one hand, we have a nation inspired by a new leader. There is talk of hope and change. On the other hand, the media fans the flame of fear and despair. People are living carefully, worried about losing their jobs. It's hard to sort out which vision is the "real" one. What makes a recession or a depression real? I remember the old joke, a recession is when people are losing their jobs - a depression is when YOU lose YOUR job.

Small businesses, shops and restaurants are starting to close, locally. Last weekend Barb went to her favorite Italian place, Cinecitta, to find it shuttered. I drove by the Oakland institution, CJ's Gingerbread House, and saw a sign: "Thanks for 35 years". I felt guilty, because I couldn't remember the last time we ate there. Barb tells me that we didn't go back because the food wasn't as charming as the exterior.

I do think that we have too much stuff, and that we could all do with some trimming back, live closer to the source, recycle and swap, reuse and make do. A guy at the bus stop, who takes the bus everywhere, surprised me today by telling me that he bought a new car. He bought a Chrysler! He announced it as a badge of honor - he is doing his part for the country's rebound. Well, we'll see.