Wendy Lautner: Cheers to new meaning in 2009 | SierraSun.com

Wendy Lautner: Cheers to new meaning in 2009

Wendy LautnerSierra Sun

Your mind is a meaning-making machine, Joe says, a glint in his eye and a grin stretched ear to ear across his weathered, wise face. Joes lanky body, standing near the top stair outside his entranceway, jittered with excitement as he went on to prove his abstract point. Wet slop dropped from the sky, slop that I had been expecting to be sweet snow, because we were on our way to go backcountry skiing after all. But it didnt take very long for my frown to turn upside down. Soon we were all laughing and I made an agreement with my soul to have a miraculous day, rain or snow. And it snowed and we skiied incredible fresh powder, all to ourselves, as is the Tahoe dream. And so, we end another year. Who out there isnt ready to leave the turbulence of 2008 behind? And what, in this week of annual reflection, will our minds make of the past year and the changes and challenges that weve seen? I havent heard anybody say it, in truth I cringe even to bring it up for some distant fear that I might be turned in for treason. But, lets be honest, capitalism took a big hit last year. It may have even taken a fatal blow. An injury is an instant when everything will change forever, and our economy as we know it, as weve led the world to believe in it, has changed forever. And that means everything has changed forever. Our government, in a collective act of humble humanity saved some of our most profiteering industries from inevitable bankruptcy. We acted the hero. We couldnt let our own go down without stepping in and bailing out. Capitalism unchecked finally cried out for help. And, like good socialists, our government leaders answered and became part owners and investors. So, what can we make of this in our minds? Is it the proof that we are, as a whole world, just a few steps closer to the idea that a hungry man (really) is an angry man?” Are we sick of angry men yet? Are we one step closer to teaching our children that until the philosophy that holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere (not just Iraq or Afghanistan) is war?”Is peace ready to prevail in a new world where people are disenchanted with the empty promise of profits and are ready to embrace the idea that there is no I in team? Change is the only thing anyone can count on. And an injury equals instant change. As we struggle to carry on as we did in the near past, continuing to fit the square peg of unchecked capitalism into the round whole of the emerging markets and social attitudes, well need to adapt. We keep on waiting, waiting, waiting on the world to change. And suddenly it has. What will your mind make of it?

Wendy Lautner is the Arts andamp; Entertainment editor for the Sierra Sun and Tahoe World. Contact her at (530) 550-4651, or at wlautner@sierrasun.com.