What on earth can we say that's not already been said, and do what's not already been done?
The crisis of the 90s, we're told, was that we didn't prepare for the future, but as the funny-shaped coil that we ride through in this life will always remind us, it's better to know that the past is always coming up right behind us.
I suppose there are different ways to approach the dilemma, one is to get stuck in it and remain aloof to the cycles within the cycles and the seeming frivolity of styles.
Another, as practiced here in Asia, is to simply know that it all comes back and just ride out on the furthest edge, marveling at the images and 1s and Os as they roll by. Styles always change and morality is just one level of these mutations, better not to cop any of these values for very long.
Another quite popular way of dealing with the past is to see all as progress towards some hazily-defined evolutionary perfection. In other words, the battles that have been fought were won for enlightenment and, like that little box of Pandora's, have unleashed the ultimate truisms of Human rights, equality, and fraternity.
It is easy to be sympathetic to this view, as in our heart of hearts, it's a fantastic philosophy to believe in. At the polar opposite are those of more fundamentalist conventions than even the first example.
At the same time cynically manipulating the course of recorded endeavor to justify itself, they seek to control the sweep of the cycles by claiming them as part of some kind of plan that is preordained to their purposes.
These opportunists gain legitimacy through back-door dealing and in concert with the contemporary military and economic powers. None of these groups really do much to alter the course of the coil.
The first group tends to be the target for the manipulations of the last, while the third tries to enlist the second in seeing more of a point to all the static around them.
The third group tries to stare down at the fourth group as short-sighted and regressive, a slow developer but coming for the marvelous ride nonetheless. The fourth sees the third as soft pushovers, with dangerous ideas that are totally at odds with the scary nature of a world that's on the brink of apocalypse.
The third often turns away from the fight at hand, and doesn't see that we are fighting the same old battles again over the same issues and they are never really won or lost.
The fourth really doesn't have a design for a life lived out from the shadows of fear and conflict, and gradually loses support in their frantic attempts to maintain order in the chaos.
The first two groups, simply trying to make the best of their lives, get stomped on and then regenerate like the animals that they are. A flood comes, and they build a new house, or they suffer and accept their lot as a matter of course, keeping the family first as the key to their survival.
The art of drama, repeating the stories of courage, cowardice, greed, charity and all in between, keeps them entertained. Entertainment has become the use of these groups' collective brains, it seems.
So the freedom (3) and fear (4) crowds would seem to be the entertainers in this play, testing their vanities before live captive audiences who are measured as to their entertainededness on a minute to minute basis.
Knowing that there is little that can be done to change the course of history, they still thrill at the attempts to do it, and also equally at the case made for the free will of man, who is condemned to choice and responsibility, somehow!
Massive global violence and use of the latest weapons on civilian populations is one of those repeating patterns or cycles, so is the fall of those whose attempt to rule us through empire.
Sit back and enjoy the show, I guess, the ride's going to be rough ... as usual.