I started this blog on December 10, 2003. Earlier that year, around the start of Iraq War II, I had noticed something peculiar about commercial radio. I noticed that the radio wasn't playing anti-war songs. This wasn't just the Clear Channel stations, mind you. Given where that company is coming from, this omission in their playlists wasn't surprising.
Instead, what was really surprising to me was that even obstensibly "liberal" radio stations broadcasting from the Bluer than Blue San Francisco Bay Area weren't playing anti-war songs earlier this year either.
I was only a kid during the 1960s. But you don't need to have been pondering sexual freedom during the "Summer of Love" to know that during the Sixties, anti-(Vietnam)-war songs were common in popular music. Listening to any "classic rock" station today will prove this out.
But from the 00s, which songs will emerge as anti-war classics? If any such songs do emerge from these current days, it won't be due to radio. Rather, it will be in spite of radio.
Instead, it will be a web thing. How did we listen to Luka Bloom's song "I am not at war with anyone" in 2003? I first heard that song on one of the "liberal" San Francisco FM radio stations around the time of "Shock & Awe". But as the war progressed, the station seemed to stop playing that song. Nor I could find any other popular, commercial FM station which was playing that song. Instead, I got it from the web. Mr. Bloom put it up on the web for free download.
Anyway, all of this got me thinking about commerce and about the web, and about what had changed between the 60s and the 00s ...
Around about the same time -- early 2003 -- I was traveling regularly as part of my job. As part of these travels, I stayed overnight once a week in a hotel. The hotel had television. I am, more or less, a television addict.
Now, I had learned long ago that television is the Great American Sedative; the Bane of Western Civilization. So in 1996, I threw away my television set. I haven't had television in my home since.
But, you see, these hotel rooms do have television. And sure enough, every Tuesday night in early 2003, I would channel surf for hours upon end until falling asleep with remote in hand.
When I said I was a television addict, I didn't mean I was addicted to any particular content. Rather, I think my addiction concerns something more elemental. Something like a fundamental attraction to flickering light accompanied by sound. Consistent with this theory, I'm also transfixed by campfires and thunderstorms. Give me a remote control, 200 channels, and lock me a hotel room. I will be useless to the world until dawn.
But I wasn't completely catatonic on those lost Tuesday nights. And I'm not telling you about this moral weakness of mine in petition for absolution. Rather, I want to tell you what I noticed watching all that television on those Tuesday nights. What I noticed was that television had swung far toward the Red. At least it had done so in comparison with the last time I watched regularly in 1996. And certainly in comparison with 20 years ago or so.
So that got me thinking about cycles in American political consciousness ...
Well, all this thinking led me, in the midddle of 2003, to two books:
- An American Prophecy: The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny, by William Strauss and Neil Howe (1997)
- When Corporations Rule the World, by David Korten (1995)
I read these two books one right after the other. And damned if they both didn't strike me as true.
Now since Truth is an internally consistent notion, my first step was to determine if the two books were consistent with each other. If they were consistent, that wouldn't necessarily prove anything. But it would certainly be interesting since The Fourth Turning is a Red favorite, whereas Korten's book flies all way past Blue and well into Green. When one finds Red agreeing with Green, our spider sense tells us we're on to something.
Well, I think these two books do agree. And from that apparent agreement, the remainder of the rest of this entire site has fallen out in due course. It continues to do so.
For me, at least. You draw your own conclusions.