The unpublished notes of Sterling Rover, on assignment for RollingPlum
The New Age is dead. It was born in the crashing collision of Uranus conjunct Pluto in 1965 and it’s died with the final–in every sense of the word–passing of its square 50 years later.
All that world-wide hope for transformation, change, destruction, restructuring, and renewal has come crashing down in one colossal failure of hope. As a movement, nothing is left.
Why the plum should we mourn? It was the movement that wasn’t, all headed in the single, one-point focused creeping direction of market-share, profit-taking, get your name on the “Top Ten Enlightened List,” can-we-take-your-healing-to-the-bank, and here, buy-some-crystals-while-you’re-at-it. Capitalism: the bull that ravaged idealism. If you can sell it here, you can sell it anywhere.
Which leaves a man standing alone on a strip of wasted desert with his digits hanging out.
It’s in the man that the real work, the real learning, can be done. It’s in the individual that change happens.
It starts with a gift. Every single unearned act of learning that’s worth its salt begins with a moment of grace that, in its sweetness, knocks the plum out of you.
That’s the freebie.
It comes with ease: the perfect brush stroke, the exact slice of tomato, the swing of the bat that howls with the smack of the ball in the sweet spot.
And then, once you’ve tasted perfect, the freebie crashes down, and you’re left with your own effort of days and weeks and months and years of soul-grinding labor until finally, from your bone-tired discipline, sweat, and perseverance, grace comes home for good.
Only this time, it’s yours. You’ve earned it.
The pattern repeats through a subculture–when the crusade starts, it’s fired by the freebie. Everybody’s feeling it and the beat rocks through the shifting pines and crawling streetcars, zaps down the buzzing telephone lines from churning city to unplowed field to deserted strip of wasteland and back again. Everybody dances. But when the riffs we dance to thread through tv ads for coca-cola, pepto-bismol, and kleenex, it’s finished.
The freebie kicks us to the curb. Now we choose–dig in and make it real through our sweat–or coast with our steaming cups of fair-trade, organic, shade-grown designer coffee while the horde-crammed malls fill every stagnant field between here and Middle Willow Creek.
When it was time for work, effort hiked it to the bank. The labor landed on the weary few who abandoned their own dreams along the way root by creeping root while the oil-stained monolithic shadows of jets fell across the black highways.
When energy abandons the camp, the man can no longer count on the mob to carry him. Now it is time for individual action, to apply the effort to learn it, practice it, live it, game it on one’s own, across hard-drives all over the plumming universe.
The New Age is dead.
Long live the New Age.
RUDY! I’m starving! Let’s go eat some art.