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November 26th, 2008

The End for Vice

I don't know about you, but I sure didn't see this one coming, and I really should have.

For some time now, our economy has been driven (or dragged) along by tapping into Basic Human Drives, er, Vices, specifically, the seven deadlies: too much food for cheap, labor saving devices to the point we have to buy an entire product category and carve out a huge chunk of our day to replace that labor if we don't want to be cut down in our 40s or 50s of heart attack or COPD or whatever, sex being used to sell everything imaginable reaching down into the prepubescent years and colonizing entire professions devoted to stopping people from having (good) sex, greed driving a financial sector to create bizarre financial superstructures that now collapse and destroy the recognizable economy, two wars of choice bringing home the danger of acting in wrath without consideration for the consequences (so you can include pride along with that, or park it up with greed -- your choice), and, finally, our overwhelming desire to have whatever we see whether we can afford it or not leading to shortcuts that destroy the environment and our collective health -- including that of the most vulnerable among us, our animal companions and our children.

Oooh, that was quite a sentence, wasn't it?

But doesn't it seem like the seven deadlies have done about as much for us as they can? Don't look to conservative Christians to find us a path back to virtuousness. They've participated as much as anyone else.

I used to really believe that if you could harness our worst traits in the service of a desirable outcome, Everything Would Be Just Dandy. Not only have problems arisen, but we may have all been a bit worn out by all this vice.

Here's what triggered this rumination:

http://money.cnn.com/2008/11/26/news/economy/blackfriday_walkup/

Technically, it should be filed under Grinch-watch Starts Friday.