Party like it’s 2009….because, honestly, would you rather it be 1939?

Our own Morgan Meis in The Smart Set:

ScreenHunter_10 Jan. 16 10.51 There's been a lot of griping, of late, about the decade just passed. That seems appropriate for a decade that began in terrorism and war, and ended in economic turmoil (never having gotten the terrorism and war out of its system along the way). It was crap. TIME magazine, a reasonably polite rag most of the time, called it the “Decade from Hell.” Gallup polls over the last 10 years recorded all-time lows in the collective low. Those inclined to dabble in the marketing of stocks have collectively labeled the last decade, “the worst ever.” And so on.

Whenever people get to the business of condemning decades, I think of W.H. Auden. That's because of his famous poem “September 1, 1939”, which opens with the following lines:

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade

Auden tries to pick things up at the end of the poem, with a showing of his “affirming flame.” Still, it is a poem thick with dread. It's all the more powerful in retrospect since we know that Auden's fears were to be fully realized and then some. The ’30s were heady with the anticipation of doom. The ’40s were wrecked in the confirmation of that doom and the resultant hangover.

So what it is that we're feeling today, really? Are we scared as Auden was? Do we experience “waves of anger and fear?” Are our September nights offended by the “unmentionable odour of death?” I think not. I very much think not.

More here.