Here we are, 2010, super-connected and always “on” – once upon a time you had to be in a big city to find the sub-cultures that would emerge and topple the old order of things. Think rock and roll, think blues, think jazz.

Now any glimmer of something new becomes a trend piece in the New York Times.

This is not a bad thing. There is more to enjoy. The whole of human creativity, no matter how dubious the “creativity” part, can be on display for the world to see.

Life is good.

For instance? Well, for instance, what it means to be a man. In a city. In a century. In transition. In a mass. Transformed by science. Under organized power. Subject to tremendous controls. In a condition caused by mechanization. After the late failure of radical hopes. In a society that was no community and devalued the person. Owing to the multiplied power of numbers which made the self negligible. Which spent military billions against foreign enemies but would not pay for order at home. Which permitted savagery and barbarism in its own great cities. At the same time, the pressure of human millions who have discovered what concerted efforts and thoughts can do …

Herzog, Saul Bellow