Too Fast to Last

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

Written by Shingo Archer

Translated by R. Liu

On Monday, December 14, 2020 at 6:00pm, the grace of the graceful city of Shanghai was squashed and squeezed into nothing but an amorphous shivering, by the cold front whooshing down from the North, just like what’s happening elsewhere in the globe. Change, it is the change that irresistibly turns the aloft city into your best furry friend, I thought, on my way back home. Old norms of grandeur and nobility usually flickering in night light were also gone with the wind, quietly.

I walked on the Nanjing West Road; the most famous shopping district of the city was not that crowded. Some passers-by behind masks sped up and shrank away from the chill, as much as possible back to their clothes as if they were wearing turtle shields, just like me. Somehow, I felt connected with these strangers, in this difficult time.

Then I came to a stop at the intersection on Feng Xian Road, opposite the entrance of Majestic Theatre. The Theatre continuously embraced its fans of musicals and dramas from 1941 through the fires of World War II, fantastically till now. An old car seemingly travelled from 1941 slowly and painfully, and stopped next to me, panting and choking. All of a sudden from nowhere, a shining blue vehicle flashed right under our noses and vanished into thin air, just within seconds. Too close! I protested, “Hey, manners!” The hoarse outcry of this old man under his worn-out hat died down behind the too-quick-to-be-believed blue lightning who had no chance to pay attention but rushed to deliver goods.

Laughter roared around, when an idea hit me. Isn’t it a metaphor? The world evolves like this food-delivery motor-bike rider, who was lashed by online comments demanding their actual delivery time, measured in minutes. And this old man could never hustle out of hassle and catch up, raising but a useless and desperate objection. “Hey, manners!”

This is the year that would probably receive coincidental denouncements, when some later unfold their family-loss memories about it.

This is the year that gushes out new concepts in every second, overwhelmingly and endlessly.

This is the year going haywire, at least when crapitalism makes no sense in capital markets in the same old way.

People do meetings in office buildings or virtually, to discuss about the new terms that they did not ever see yesterday. To list a few, the brand-new ones appearing today, FTSE Russell WGBI constituents review, bid to overturn election result, the third wave of COVID-19, Pop Mart blind boxes, Cyberpunk, Involution, reforms on the side of demand, the consistency between sample submitted for regulatory approval and actual production in car manufacturing...tomorrow will screen out part of today’s first hits in searching or on media, sentence them to forever death and give birth to her new favorites.

While on East Sea Bridge, unmanned 18-wheelers were sending full loads of containers to Shanghai at cruise speeds. Above in the night sky booming like fireworks, new terminologies keep emerging so fast that no dictionaries are fast enough to collect, even when I was walking my way home. No matter how, hope that real economies ride on technology and bring real benefits to people, to all of us, near and far, now and in the future.

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