The Hive is a mess. Tunnels caved in, major flooding in the basement, manuscripts in the basement torn and water-logged. Conversations lost. We fell apart.
I kept thinking, if we stayed with it long enough, we could improvise our way to something important, some clear statement of what it is to be human. Some reader, years from now, might find that theme in our notes. People were here. They had jobs. They had lovers. Husbands and wives. Some of them had kids. Their world was changing fast. Sometimes, it seemed to be coming down around their ears. But they went to movies, danced, listened to music, watched TV, made it to the grocery store. They read books. They talked about the things they saw and heard. Like you, Reader. They tried to be direct, unmediated and genuinely human in what they thought and said, to keep things and people in perspective. They hung out. And they all had porn star names. But the women didn't like to give head.
Maybe that's why the Hive collapsed. Or maybe it was politics. It's easy to have an opinion about politics, but it's mainly a waste of time. Or maybe there is something about creative people that makes collaboration difficult for them, even impossible. Whatever the reason, the Hive collapsed, the victim of some kind of colony collapse disorder. We hardly understood what was happening to us.
When I drained the basement, I found ideas flopping around like fish out of water, and not a single one of them was of any use in finding a way to live better or even to survive in this upside-down, inside-out world of America circa 2010. Not one article or idea as useful as the articles in The Whole Earth Catalog of the Sixties.
What we needed badly a couple of years ago were tools for survival. Do we need them still? I'm not sure we do.
Maybe what we need now are better ways to reconcile ourselves to the fact that we survived the social upheaval that destroyed millions of other lives. Maybe we need to turn our thoughts inward and celebrate the personal life in this time of collective discontent, to adopt the attitude that someone has to keep living, as though we have been selected for that task.