Monday, July 14, 2003

THE NEW BUBBLE. We were told back then that everything had changed.

Lately when I think of the Old World I think of an insult that I mean as a tribute. It is the phrase the narcissism of small differences. In the world that has just passed, careless people--not carefree, careless--spent their time deconstructing the reality of the text, as opposed to reading the book. You could do that then. The world seemed so peaceful that you could actively look for new things to argue about just to keep things lively... You could have real arguments about stupid things... We were not serious. We were not morally serious.

In our newly-sobered media, there are hundreds of stories this week about a cute girl who, while pretending to be a sausage, was knocked over by a Pittsburgh Pirate. There are also a number of stories, less energetically pursued, about the latest attack on our troops in Iraq, a place where, you may recall, a great victory for American power and prestige was lately won.

There are also stories about the latest prospective military target in our new era of seriousness. American interests in Liberia are hard to explain, especially in light of the current Administration's previous disinterest in the region. But everything has changed, again, and keeps on a-changin', especially when there are electoral points to be scored ("Where do Janeane Garofalo, Mike Farrell, and Martin Sheen stand on intervention in Liberia?") by fresh use of the lately-sanctioned (and, given the slim chances of an economic turnaround at home, most readily available) vote-getting tool, foreign intervention.

Meanwhile patriotic writers in redoubts of high seriousness speak of the indignities suffered by privileged Americans.

It's a good thing the grown-ups are in charge.

No comments:

Post a Comment