We’ll never get to know — those of us living in the ‘Right Here Right Now’ — how our Time will be perceived by those who come long after us. Perspective sucks that way. To get the really, really good perspective — well, ‘You can’t there from here’ (as the say up in Maine). We could be called ‘The Age of Trump’ or ‘The Disinformation Age’. Both would be spot on. But they’re too narrow, I think (well, I’m writing about it, aren’t I? Obviously I think –) …
What the Larger World is experiencing collectively is Massive Disruption. If Disruption is sudden and potentially radical change — we’re experiencing Disruption in multiple ways, on multiple levels and to maximum effect.
Donald Trump is Disruption in human form. Everything he does is Disruption. But he’s not the only Disruption. He’s just all the smaller disruptions we’d been tolerating rolled into One Giant-Sized Killer Asteroid of Disruption.
In a sense, Civil Rights was Disruption. It wasn’t as sudden as some Disruption but it probably felt sudden to all the White Bigots who thought they’d get to live out their days in comfortable bigotry. Boom — Disruption in the form of Civil Rights — and the next thing you know Southern Bigots have to fight for their right to even ‘be‘ Southern Bigots. Can’t ya feel their pain?
The original Napster was Hard Core Disruption. At the time, the Music Companies were ‘killing people’ with the cost of albums/CDs/tapes/whatever. And it wasn’t exactly a secret where MOST of that cash was going. NOT to the artists.
Music was corrupt as hell. Napster Disrupted that. You could get all the music you wanted for NOTHING. And that fact flipped the whole music Business Model on its head. Used to be the money was in Album or CD sales. A music act toured to support album sales.
But there are no more ‘album sales’ or few. Young people don’t buy or even stream whole albums any more. They want the specific music they want and none of the ‘filler’ used to justify charging more for a whole ‘album’ of music. And as for the specific music they want — if they can find a way to get it for free, they absolutely will. As they do. Which makes supporting yourself — as a musical artists did — on album sales — a swan dive off a very high cliff onto pavement.
Musical artists were forced to turn to Live Performances — ticket sales — to pay the rent. Merch too. Lots and lots of merch.
That’s a lot more work just to keep the lights on. Disruption. From the Artist’s point of view — it sucks and sucks and sucks. To the fan however — it’s perfection: The artists you love must always come to you if they want to ‘compete’ in a very crowded marketplace filled with other Artists doing pretty much what they’re doing.
Factory Workers being replaced by Robots sit in the same boat. Supermarket check-out Workers… Fast food Workers… and on and on and on.
Disruption, Disruption and still more Disruption.
Once set in motion, Disruption becomes like A Force Of Nature. No person or people can stop it. There’s nothing they can do. The Disruption will peter out — if it peters out — of its own volition or because it finally ran out of juice. That just means the Disruption has become The New Normal — and is now RIPE for Disruption.
Is this horse dead yet?
‘The Age of Disruption’: That’s Us in a Nutshell. Hooray.