“Life goes in circles”, people say, but that is not true. In fact, life goes like a spiral. The circle gets smaller and smaller until it’s a single dot. Which is your grave. I am in a happy mood today, as you can see.
In the same way, people don’t really change. People think they change, because they change jobs, houses, relationships, favourite bands, salad dressings, and ketchup brands. I once met a guy on a boat party who didn’t agree with me. He had a friend who used to be married with a woman until he fell in love with a man, divorced and married him. “Don’t you think that’s a change?” he asked. Of course it’s not. If his friend was on the receiving end before with his wife, he still will be now with his husband, and if he preferred cleaning dishes above vacuum cleaning before, I am sure, he still does now. A guy who used to be a right-wing skinhead, then sees the light and becomes a reborn christian working night and day for Greenpeace; is still the same fanatic. Saul, the persecutor of christians, became Paul, the holier-than-thou Apostle of the christian church, but he was still an self-righteous bastard.
In the same way, humanity does not really progress. Things like cars, computer operating systems, sound recordings (from vinyl to CD to mp3) or Rolling Stones albums have gone consistently worse over the past 50 years. The West-European social welfare dream is on its last legs. After centuries trying to get rid of Christianity, not only is it still around, but it has gotten company of the Islam, and people who don’t believe in either, have gone back to the middle-ages and started to believe in homeopathy, astrology, quantum-karma-massages and photonic dream analysis therapies. The names have changed but it is still horse urine sold as medicine. The only thing science has achieved, on a cultural level at least, is that people think quantum mechanics is a Zen thing, and Einstein was some kind of Neil claiming that everything is like, yeah, relative man.
Even on a generation by generation base, the boat just rocks back and forth without really going anywhere (poetically put, even if I say so myself). In Western-Europe, after the terribly suppressing fifties (protestants in the northern and dictators in the southern countries), the annoyingly optimistic sixties (Beatles, Kennedy, Vietnam…, oh well, so much for naive optimism), the depressingly lost aftermath of the seventies (brown and orange?!), came the terribly suppressing eighties (the atom bomb, Reagan, Thatcher, new-wave music), the annoyingly optimistic nineties (new-age, the internet, extacy, techno…, oh well, so much for naive optimism) and the depressingly lost aftermath of the first decade of the 21st century. I am sure the first steps of another annoyingly optimistic era are already in the making (Yes We Can! just came, saw and disappeared before its time).