This week I’ve been spending time in London, ya know lucky me as where ever they seems to be some form of civil unrest it seems my boss gets the idea to send me there. However during the cab ride from Heathrow to down town, which I’ve made many times in the past ten or fifteen years of coming here I noticed something. This was the same set of homes I’ve driven by for over a decade and it hit me of how worn they appeared this day.
Here it’s worth noting that this is London, one of the most expensive cities in the world and the majority of these homes are middle to upper middle class residences. Where there once where clean exteriors with paint and trim, now stood clearly worn and weather trimmings as the investment in up keep has been in clear decline in apparent correlation with the times. This relationship started me thinking of several of my recent posts concerning the evaporation of this once pronounced class and the rioting which been taking place here in London. As while the media has portrayed these “looters” as hooligans or way-ward have not’s running the backstreets and allies at nights.
Instead, these folks where once members of the underside of this dwindling class a-y are really the ones with their Black Berry’s and messenger software seeking the next high profile electronic store to knock over. As these members of the once “have” and now “have less” community are rising up to what appears falsely of course a victim-less crime to satisfy the newly created yet unfilled consumerism urges. As once upon a time life was good and the fix for the Madison Avenue Itch was as close as the credit card in their back pocket. However as the branches of the middle class tree are paired back, their urges remain to drive their actions. Yet this is just a sign of the times in the world as affluence is drained from the G7 countries much as blood flows freely in a company “blood drive” as a boss urges on attendance at performance evaluation time.
Where will all of this leave us on the topic is unclear today, however it is yet a reality which not only affects the United States, however most of the rest of the free world. So as Dylan wrote, times they are a changing and then there is the Americana cliché you can’t go home again as home isn’t home any longer…