In order to give this post some relevance to the art world, I’ll mention that the dominant “rhetorical” flourish in Chelsea right now would have to be a gallows humor.
There’s an interesting article from the Grey Lady about the culture effects of the 1990s economic downturn in Japan (and by obvious extension, what could happen in the United States today). Here’s the lede:
As recession-wary Americans adapt to a new frugality, Japan offers a peek at how thrift can take lasting hold of a consumer society, to disastrous effect.
But my favorite part:
Sales of whiskey, the favorite drink among moneyed Tokyoites in the booming ’80s, have fallen to a fifth of their peak.
To someone who was about three years old when Tokyoites reached the apex of whiskey consumption, this mostly recalls Bill Murray’s half-hearted attempts as Santori spokesman in Lost in Translation. (By contrast my whiskey consumption is up by 950% since the 80s, with no decline in sight – I’m thinking of releasing bonds.) Japanese businessmen may have cut out their favorite vices cold turkey, but somehow I don’t think that will be the case here…