the too much

I’ve been catching threads of commentary about the state of human culture–global culture, since that is what we talk about, now that the internet has stuck us all in one room. Anyway, threads about how we are in a period of ennui, or imaginative recession, the idea that we have access to so much and nothing is worth doing, that everyone is exhausted and no one can summon the imagination to do things differently. This essay by Dimiter Kenarov is a good example of what I mean:, and has some excellent photos to boot.

I noticed this phenomenon creeping in before the pandemic, and before social media began to limit self-expression so profoundly, but now it seems like it has entered the zeitgeist, as we once called it. And that is a good thing, because that means things are changing, because the zeitgeist is always a little behind the actual spirit of the age. Once we get to the point where some loose consensus is reached about the shape of the world, it becomes clear that said shape actually dissolved into something else, and here we go again. What is this new turn? I can only hope it involves another surge of creativity and imaginative exploration of possibility, but in case it is not, I am going to spend a few weeks searching for alternatives to the current bowl of broth, as Kenarov put is (borrowing from Thomas Mann), and remembering that “searching” is not something affixed to the word “engine” without limiting the potential for surprise.