How quickly Levi and Bristol and Lindsay are replaced with our latest outrage–which plays far better than the “tsk tsk” of feinted empathy or tepid applause! Michelle, no longer our “belle,” went to Spain with friends! Thanks goodness she didn’t eat unnatural, salted french fries!
Shakespeare’s axiom, taken from his play title–a ribald category for “small potatoes”–is arrograntly, disdainfully vanquished–except for his line, “trust no agent.” No longer, is there the old sense of this is too much; today there is only “much ado.” Now, Nothing is “nothing.” Not any more!
In the ruling hierachy, in the court of manners, in the name of decency and respect, in the long list of social offenses, some things, once, just didn’t count. Vacations were one of them. “T’aint nobody’s business” was once an national anthem, but I guess Billie Holiday is not embraced as transition music at Fox. Marie feed ’em bread; Michelle went to Spain. This doesn’t seem to rise to the “moral equivalent” of hurt feelings–but should I phone anyway tomorrow? In protest, eat an inorganic snack?
Within the country, the new culture of political economy has undertaken the role of reshaping views by offering andecdotes to manufactured fears and outrages. None are based on truth. In this brave new world, the political word masters speak of job killing spending, job killing deficits, job killing unemployment benefits, job killing stimulus, job killing funding of essential services, and job killing infra-structure projects–and now job killing, election losing, “tone deaf” vacations. Depression (economic and psychological!) by symbolism! Eroded consumer confidence by foreign chapel visits! Yet those who call the politicans/pundits and our own poor folk in beauty parlors and barbershops everywhere on this ridiculous ledgermain are declared to be rogues themselves! Rogues who want to kill more jobs!
The best cultural parallel is perhaps the magnitude of the crowds that gathered in England outside of Newgate prison to watch the hanging of common thieves. Oblivious to the injustice and cruelty, the society developed an unsatiated appetite for the high drama of these public occasions. English capital crimes, in part, were reduced because judges at Old Bailey thought the clergy had grown too influential in gaining lenciency, so they asserted the power themselves to deny it to the clergy!
Before the Obamas get too big, we have to take the power ourselves. And issue a media-block against blanket amnesty for the whole cloth of perceived transgressions.
So in the culture of today’s political economy, those in power cannot be trusted. Those who would modernize America are socialists. Those out of power carry the hangman’s noose. Those who support strict construction of the Constitution would scrap the 14th amendment in a fit of activism and now put immigrant agents in hospital delivery rooms to monitor births.
Today’s politics is based more on titillation than truth. No matter the facts of the numbers; the truth of the matter. Anne C, Michelle M, and candidate Sharon A, and others who helped make the new culture are also products of it. Controlling the trap doors of the culture of political economy is a prize of power (ask Palin) and more important than being on message (Obama’s gift and craft). We cheer or jeer, like the crowds at Newgate, discussing the latest at the pub, and here online. Recounting in detail our vigilance and how we missed the point while watching the country swing.
Thanks for reading! /wr. Please stir the Perlo. Leave a comment.
Image: Mountain top view of Ronda, Spain; fair use.