Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Surfing through the various contrarian economic news sites, one cannot help but notice the large number of articles with the words "depression" and "recession" plopped here and there like cow patties in a pasture.  Everyone seems to recognize that either (a) the economy is relapsing into a recession (implying that we actually got out of the last one), or (b) that the economy is in a depression (implying that it wasn't in one already).  This kind of talk, to quote the character Maurice Minnifield of Northern Exposure, "makes my butt tired."  What precious few seem to realize -- especially the sociopaths in the Two Towers (Washington and Wall Street), it goes without saying -- is that neither the word "recession" nor the word "depression" can describe what is going on.  Those words were only appropriate for an economic paradigm that no longer exists.  The paradigm has shifted, is shifting, and will continue to shift, despite the ridiculous machinations of Orthanc and Barad-dur. 

Without getting into traditional definitions, both words imply a slump in economic activity -- and the word "slump" implies an upcurve at some point.  But there is no real upcurve on the other side of this:  there is, indeed, no other side.  What we have here -- failure to communicate aside -- is a general, civilization-wide  Leg Down.  Words like "depression" and "recession" limit our abilities to fathom the collapse at hand, effectively throwing up a mental barrier, so that our minds do not have to deal with the infinite darkness (literal and metaphorical*) that said collapse entails. 

I do not think this collapse is going to be a permanent thing, mind you, but I think that the socioeconomic paradigm that replaces the current one will be more recognizable to Laura Ingalls Wilder than it would to an American citizen of my own generation.

Wassail, friends.

*Prof. Em. Guy McPherson speculates "Stone Age by 2012."  I tend to think it will be more akin to the Dark Ages -- specifically, the early Middle Ages, between the fall of the last Roman Emperor in the West (Romulus Augustulus, early fifth century) and the Norman Conquest of England (1066), with some of the technology reminiscent of the early Industrial Revolution.  The political turmoil which will mark the world for the next few generations may give way to a more stable system, mirroring that of the High Middle Ages of the Crusader period.  Shit, now I'm just daydreaming, really...


  1. thanks for your response in nature bats last, I appreciate it, cheers, Sergio

  2. Glad to, Sergio. I wish you all the best in your efforts and hope to see you around NBL again!



Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"