jeudi 11 décembre 2008

Systemic collapse

Long ago, you must have read some Milan Kundera. Czechlovakian writer who had so much success with Unbearable Lightness of Being. It was an excellent read, but I read it ages ago and don't want to go through it again for fear of deflating another illusion of youth. In it, somewhere, though, there is a character who's a doctor but who has been forced by circumstance to clean windows for a living. The blunt message, apt enough at the time, was that the Soviet system was doomed - for look at what is happening to the brightest and best! Window cleaners! Ten years later or so, and the system does indeed collapse. Another triumph for capitalist democracy!

Then, long after Kundera has faded away, in Greece, that symbolic home of civilisation, the government embarks on a standard austerity programme, gives billion to the banks and sanctions the murder of people in the street. "A young woman told the Guardian, "I have two degrees but I am a waitress. There is no opportunity for young people here any more but I don't think this is confined to Greece. The economic situation leaves a lot of young people across Europe feeling bleak and hopeless."
The equal and opposite novel needs to be written. A working title: The bearable weight of death