BAD NEWS BEARER OF BAD NEWS

Chulture-change-is-a-bear[1]

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.  What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?  One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.  The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.  The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.  All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.  All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.  The thing that hath been,  it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.  Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.  There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.  I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.  And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.  I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.  That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.  I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.  And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.  For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

What a piece of work is a man!  how noble in reason!  how infinite in faculty!  in form and moving how express and admirable!  in action how like an angel!  in apprehension how like a god!  the beauty of the world!  the paragon of animals!  And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; while the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.  Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.  Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow creeps into this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time, and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.  Out, out, brief candle!  Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

(Ecclesiastes, Shakespeare)

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