Shapes Of Things To Come

Dystopian portraits of American futures typical rely on deus ex machina global erasures — post nuclear (The Terminator stuff), plagues (The Stand, I Am Legend) or environmental messages (The Day After Tomorrow, the new The Day Earth Stood Still). The dissolution and decay (social or political) that led to these ‘resets’ are almost always given short shrift. It’s no wonder, especially recently. Who, after all, doesn’t remember the mind numbing horror of watching the words ‘taxation dispute’ come down the scroll in Phantom Menace?

Put bloated billionaire Lucas’ clueless story telling instincts aside. The getting there is in many ways the valuable part of any allegory, fable or instructive myth. Consider Tolkien. Echoes of the far earler Falls (Elven and Numenor) embued his Lord of the Rings with such rare, almost 3D tangibility.

Detroit’s failed bid to gain government loans shines a brief light on what will become a more common occurrence — U.S. elected officials acting as surrogates for direct foreign investment at the cost of the fraying larger American marco economic weal. This our real life version of how we ‘got there.’ All can see in this case because our current rudderless government allows the Senate’s Sourthern GOP Posse to act out without immediate consequences. And to be fair, most Americans at their root core today view themselves and their purpose as primarily consumptive bipeds.

The Executive is farther along this trajectory. The hundreds of billions pimped to AIG and CitiGroup? It’s true American self interest underlay some of the high minded sound bites about ‘global system risk’ etc. Also true? Our Chinese and Japanese creditors hold too many dollars and too many toxic products we (and the Brits) shoveled around.

Are we at a tipping point with the GOP sabotage of the Detroit deal? Not yet. It’s still a novel meme for the media to note with at least apparent surprise that senators would act in support of foreign capital. The tipping point comes when such actions are decisive and accepted without comment.

Who knows? Maybe that bloated rich toy merchant might have the last laugh. And a Fall of American Empire introductory title scroll begins with ‘collateralized debt obligations’ . . .


  1. Anon says

    Frum probably had a Gyro at that place on M St near The Saloon after chatting over world problems with some plebes over a Whitbred or a microbrew.

  2. says

    But what we want to know: is Greece the latest target for the Jihad Chill? Are they leaving the Core? As you know, car burning is a well known tactic of your towelhead in Al-Francia, along with temporary marriage.

    What, you mean Michelle was *wrong*?

  3. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Very clunky re Wolfe indeed. Perhaps Conrad is distracted or possibly fixated more on Chicago recently and Blago’s blight, now that they have a bond of common attorney.

    re Frum, in all fairness he probably does have a gyro now and then. That has to count for something?

  4. Anon says

    Conrad Black identifying with Michael Ignatieff – check out his clunky paragraph #6 with its John Kerry-esque level poor allusion to Thomas Wolfe.

    Also – Leo – check out Frum’s column on the same page – Frum is obviously fantasizing about the Euro smashing up. Does Frum also think NY State (like Germany) might get sick of doing all the money transfer?

    But Leo, did Frum go to Greece in the last 10 years in any meaningful way before he decided to write about Greek problems?

  5. A Random Quote says

    “I can relate to the rail-splitter from out west [Lincoln] because he had a way of speaking that was not always appreciated by the newspapers back east.”
    ~George W. Bush

  6. A Random Quote says

    “His very election as president was regarded as a cause for war.”
    ~Dubya unironically comparing himself to Lincoln

  7. Anon says

    Also – it is funny and odd that that GOPer calls to follow the economic lead example of industrialization Alabama and South Carolina is not met with howls of laughter.

    All week long CNBC has been dominated by low IQ southern pols touting the virtues of a low wage assembly economy as the wave of the future – couple with sneering lies about bloated auto workers (of all choice of villians) making 70 plus an hour (a complete lie presented as fact)

    Saw fomer WB head Wolfensohn on TV casually decided to close up all US auto companies. No one objected.

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