Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall brought to an end Soviet hegemony over half the world, a well-known expert on walls tearfully wrote on his blog:
"That Wall was the ONLY HOME I EVER KNEW!"
Elsewhere, a young French philosopher wondered if Capitalism's triumph as Communism fell -- described popularly in the 1990s as "The End of History" -- was not in fact the beginning of a far more invidious dark night of the soul. His bleak thoughts resonate throughout his book, Coming of Age At the End of History:
Camille de Toledo burst onto Paris’ intellectual scene in 2008 with his brilliantly incisive manifesto, examining present-day counterculture from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the present. He asks what it is, exactly, his generation is protesting against and contemplates how revolt against western capitalistic values has been neutralized since the time of Francis Fukuyama’s landmark 1989 article “The End of History.” Providing historical context from The Surrealists to Jean-Luc Godard; Guy Debord to Johnny Rotten, Gilles Deleuze to Kurt Cobain, he reveals how the diffusion of political power as well as media co-option have robbed all forms of cultural dissent of their critical potential, leaving behind a new generation of rebels unsure of their cause.This is more important than you, dear reader, may think, more important than I can express. I can only say, with humor, that we are more doomed than ever before. And if proof is required, just look at the latest news:
"'Bobbitt' Case: I Cut Off Dad's Penis and Burned It, but I Didn't Want Him to Die, Queens Woman Says"--headline, Daily News (New York), Nov. 5
"Woman Forced to Wear Diapers to Work"--headline, Philadelphia Daily News, Nov. 5
"Adopt Me: Prince Charles Looking for Someone to Love"--headline, El Paso Times, Nov. 6
From the Fall of the Wall to the Fall of the Towers is just over a decade, but the 1990s will be one of the most significant era in recent history. In the end, we all fall down.