Beneath it nothing but a great simulacrum. -Thackeray.
Something quite scary is happening to our country. It’s not the sub-prime mortgage which has me worried; it’s the total panic it has induced. I wonder have we lost our imagination as a nation? We have been filled for so long with such very-small minded ideas, such self-indulgence, that the power to tackle big problems with a creative spirit seems to have left us. It’s as if our national grit has been hollowed out from inside by the MTV culture: preening, narcissistic, and base. What we are left with in our national psyches is a dramatic schoolgirl who indulges in gossip, vindictive to any slight, and screeches with horror to any obstacle which comes their way. Indeed, we have taken the wide world and reduced it to a high school stage with small actors who mug for the cameras and read off scripts as the real world passes them by.
Its fitting that Paris Hilton has recently done a video running for fake president; it is art imitating life imitating art one might say. I get its a joke, and I even half-heartedly laugh, but it was a nervous laugh just the same. A laugh which betrays a realization that this economic crisis might just be a prop for both drama and comedy, but real drama might be coming our way if our leadership doesn’t ease this panic.