We are headed towards what appears to be a uniquely American take on that self-flagellation which always occurs after a good party. Since the current pickle that we are in is pretty much self-inflicted and a direct result of our communal greed, we will be going through a phase where we will peg our virtue to how little we consume and how virtuous and frugal is our existence.
But, lets not get too carried away with this. As we are spending time looking around for things to throw on the bonfire of the vanities, we have to very careful not to go overboard. We will be looking for ways to economize. Good. But lets not throw away support for the arts, they will give our lives a richness and texture. Lets not throw away our charity, that will give our lives meaning and substance. Lets not throw away our connections and our far-flung conversations, they will give our lives the depth and intelligence to find a new way.
So start thinking hard about what it is you wish to throw on the bonfire, but also make sure that you have a good firm list of what you wish to keep.