Saturday, September 27, 2008

Blast from the past: A dream

Something I wrote a couple years ago that in light of recent events seemed worthy of a reprise:
I had a dream last night that has continued to haunt me all day. Although hardly long-lasting, it was vivid enough in its own right.

I was basically walking, grocery items in hand, and stumbled upon a riot. Think of the images of the late 1990s WTO protests. People were all over the place. A number of men were taking whatever items they could find to smash windows and break down doors to buildings that I suppose had until recently housed the workings - financial and political - of what many of us consider "civilization."

What was most striking was the vibe of the whole scenario, as well as my reaction to what was going on. The atmosphere was not especially angry or intense. I saw no violence to speak of. In fact there was almost a block party element to the proceedings. Near where I was standing, right in the middle of the street, some couches that had apparently been looted at some point in the recent past were being occupied by various people conversing - young and old, male and female, various ethnicities, some quite counterculture in their outward appearance, others appearing as if they had until recently had a stake in whatever system had once existed. There was no traffic noise to be heard, although there were plenty of cars to be found parked. Whatever law enforcement or military presence that I happened upon seemed minimal and stifled. I wondered if they were even still on some payroll or were merely standing around out of habit.

My own reaction to the whole thing was nonchalant - this was apparently the norm (perhaps explaining why I was walking rather than driving as I usually do). I merely went about my route. Whatever constituted "western civilization" in that particular urban corner of America had fallen it appeared, and it seemed as if life went on.
See also Connectedness, from around the same period.

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