On Charles Dickens' 200th birthday, let's ask whether we are living in a tale of two cultures. A colleague came back from Europe six months and was fascinated that people were asking about "American spring," comparing the Occupy movement to the Arab spring uprisings. The idea was that we were starting to recognize the oppression that we were laboring under, even in our opulence, and were starting to emerge from its influence. It does lead us to ask whether these are the best of times and the worst of times. Are we seeing a repetition of the London and Paris of Dickens' story in western culture and the rest of the world? Or would it be China and America?