I do know that small photographic businesses, for instance, are finding it hard to survive now that the digital technology allows people to take their own photos with ease. They don’t need a professional to photograph their wedding or their portraits when they have their friends with digital SLR cameras. The wedding v or portrait photographer is now expected to be different, especially in terms of lighting, mood and post-processing.
Maybe it is the effects of the global financial crisis that I’m seeing? It’s like all the failed developments in the CBD that remain holes in the ground. Effects in the form of the institutional supports of a fantasy or attachment starting to break down, slowly. I cannot help but feel that there is a form of cruel optimism at work here —ie., individuals remain attached to “clusters of promises” about the good life fantasy, despite deteriorating social, economic, and environmental conditions that wear us out. “Cruel optimism” is a way of understanding the injurious attachments we have formed to fantasies of the good life that are no longer sustainable in the neo-liberal present.
A form of cruel optimism because we remained attached to unachievable fantasies of the good life—–with its promises of upward mobility, job security, political and social equality, and durable intimacy——despite the evidence that liberal-capitalist societies can no longer be counted on to provide opportunities for individuals to make their lives “add up to something.” It is a slow processes of numbing, attrition or wearing-out or exhaustion.