Once upon a time in these United States
A glance at the actually existing Zeitgeist
“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
We can do much worse with our leisure than leisurely reading Fitzgerald.
But Americans, perhaps the English speaking people have never grasped this concept of leisure which suspiciously is not work. Vacations and days off are just different work. Maybe it is the Protestant work ethic. I vaguely guess at reasons since I couldn’t begin to hazard an explanation for misery as lifestyle. I easily imagine busting ass since 14, facing the Biden moment at 65 and the Covid moment just prior without much in the head but advertising boasts for lifestyles in the radiant future. Bubble bubble toil and trouble in the free world where jobs come and go and a work by the polymath Michelangelo is an art poster. Consider it like this, in a less decadent hour in America, October 7, 1965 to be precise, $7 million dollars brought the film The Agony and the Ecstasy to the big screen. And years later Nippon TV Network Corporation covers the restoration of the Sistine Chapel, $4.2 million dollars in exchange for three years of exclusive rights to photos and video. Those rights expired in 1997.
Japan is a colony of the United States but the US thinks Dim Sum European culture is too. So they gave the green light.
Tom and Daisy have been to Italy. Tom and Daisy have credit, cars, a house and a time share, fly friendly skies and are on cordial terms with others who like them own stuff and statistically test high achiever. They vaccinated for Covid and inhabit and occupy a unique post-modern niche and metaphorically graze and exert their brains on the grass before them chewing timelessly unconcerned about the morrow. Concern about too many things or even a few very important things is not how the day job is kept keeping Tom from driving Uber and Daisy from taking in laundry until the timeshare sells. Fitzgerald-”The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”