Saturday, November 29, 2008

THE USUAL GANG OF IDIOTS. I feel I must apologize again for the paucity of posts, and this time admit that it's not all because I'm worked to death (though I am) or sick (better, thanks). I am also suffering from a lack of interest in my usual subjects. Maybe the emotional discharge of the post-election has affected them, or me.

I mean, what could anyone do with this? It's as mawkish and maudlin as any earlier Peggy Noonan joint, of the sort I used to enjoy, but now she provides no burr to catch the imagination. That she believes the economy can't be too bad because she can't see, from her dirigible high above Fifth Avenue, its effects ("Everyone is dressed the same... The mall is still there, and people are still walking into the stores...") is highly provocative; a few minutes' research might have revealed to her, for example, that crops are bad and crop insurers are defaulting, which in the current situation might discomfort any sensible person, and that things aren't so hot in the cities, either. Also, as I've said before, in our first stages of decline Americans naturally try to keep up appearances, not giving up the outward appearance of sociable, solvent life until it's absolutely unavoidable. What do you think was fueling that great credit surge before the bust?

But just as you're getting ready to pounce, Noonan decides she doesn't really mean it, but it doesn't really matter: things "will roughen," but "we've gotten through roughness before." Of course her model for getting through is the hands of Jesus guiding her jet liner to safety ("Lord, thank you for our previous safety, and get us through this turbulence"), and her coda a mention of a book with vodka in the title, which was probably to Noonan a sign from God that she should have another.

It's like that scene in Post Office where Bukowski's finally had enough of that co-worker who's always muttering insults, and wheels on him only to realize that the guy is lost in a private fog and has no awareness of him or anything else around him. It takes a lot of the fight out of you.

Likewise Lileks is moonier than usual and hard to grasp, as here, where he mourns (after some broken-field running to disguise the vapidness of his theme from readers, and possibly himself) the godlessness that has left our Modern Arts shallow and brittle, unlike the works of the Immortal Beethoven etc. All I can think to say is: so where's your cathedral, pal?

Maybe I'll start jabbing my leg with a penknife like Gide's Lafcadio until these guys start giving me more to work with.

No comments:

Post a Comment