Stop Motion Economy

Square dancing in a monetary blur...

We're weathering a time that not even the experts and historians who study these things understand what is really happening with our global economy. If they claim to they're either bluffing, deluding themselves or lying. We are in an historical upheaval of epic proportions that contains common threads with similar chronological events of the past yet is different because it is distinctly in the here and now.

It is disquieting to our daily lives and will not be truly understood until the future. Meanwhile we are stuck in the present square dancing with partners we may or may not know and doing our best to keep time with the fiddle at a hoedown we'd rather not participate in. We're romping in a blur of light and dark, clarity and reflection, in a utilitarian fashion to keep our balance.

On the continuum of personal finances it's fair to say that many people are not being truthful to themselves or others. An old ethic that one never talks about money has revived with a strong resurgence; probably because there isn't a lot left to brag about. Almost everyone has been affected in some way and if they act and say as if they're not, then they are either bluffing, deluding themselves or lying. No one will come out of this decade without some markings of having changed for better or worse.

Meanwhile all we can do is square dance in a haze making sure we keep time and keep our footing while we whirl around. It's "Places all. Bow to your corner, bow to your partner, three hands up and around you go. Promenade around the ring, big foot up and little foot down, make that big foot jar the ground, back you go and forward again. Allemande left with the old left hand, meet your partner with a great big smile, promenade across the floor and now your home, bow to your partner, bow to the gent across the hall. And that is all."

Remaining positive during a hazy tenuous new economic age that expands beyond our known boundaries goes a long way to calming the disquietude of the storm. Coming up clean, being honest and truthful will not explain the disorder of economic, social and political change of the big picture but will comfort us individually on the home front.


  1. To me, this post seems applicable to much more than the economic side of life.

    It feels lately like everything is in flux and confusing...all the while it's obvious that some things are standing solid. Maybe not obvious to everyone-and I could just be overly optimistic, crazy, or both-but I sure seem to feel some comforting certainty about important things despite all the little storms life is bringing lately.

    I guess the thing is to figure out what's important and stick with it, and relegate the rest to varying degrees of less importance.

    I don't know if that made any sense. I do know that the square dance simile is perfect. Throw in a "right hand star" and I'm back in gym class in 1983. And not hating it, interestingly enough. :)

    Great post, JR!

  2. Mike your comment that everything, not just the economy, is in flux and confusing. To me the best thing we can do is remain optimistic and try to find some solid ground or if you prefer port in the storm while we figure things out.

    I created a new term today for myself to call whatever it is the world is going through: "disruptive contraction." Everything is disruptive and not just the economy but everything is contracting back while the new becomes set in place in order for it to later become old. Cycles of life I guess.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Sounds like birth pangs to me JR with all this talk of contractions and cycles of life. I think that men are so used to using sports metaphors and, well..er..uh..dance metaphors in this case that they don't see the clearer image. Birth and new life is painful. It has been said that something has to die in order for something else to be born. We see this all around us, in the Arab Spring abroad where fascist dictators are being dragged unwillingly from their dictatorial posts and in Greece where the citizenry are up in arms because they see that their economy is falling down around their ears with unemployment, high inflation and government corruption. Who can blame them. I don't know about our country, but other countries are looking to solidify in a new way by totally destabilizing what is old, corrupt and completely demoralizing to human rights and livelihood. Perhaps we need to take a good look at their courage and think about the same? Just a thought. In regard to the economy and people suffering, I think that this is a time to start instituting community cooperatives to help people who need food, shelter and clothing and perhaps utility money. There are people out there starving who might look like your or me. I like your post. It got me thinking. Sorry that I went on so long. You are a good writer. You get people's thoughts moving in the right direction!

  4. You've pretty much hit the nail on the head with your comment. This era really is about a rebirth of our country and returning to some old values while learning some new ways. I think cooperatives and organizations run by people are a significant part of that, it is only logical to get through the next decade or so. As we have to shift from government filling these roles due to lack of revenue it will be the people who can organize and fund raise that will be operating these services on a local level. I think that's a good thing bringing back self-help coupled with mutual help reminiscent of the era before WWI.