Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Messy Glory

Who's whining now? The economy continues in free fall and people are scared. Those that played by the rules, of course, get hit the hardest. While pundits and professors debate, analyze, pontificate, and admonish, I have a simple explanation. GREED. Enough said.
I keep wondering when some of the folks I know who lose sleep over their dwindling IRAs, or second guess their home's value, or wonder why all the money they've squirreled away over a lifetime won't bring them any contentment; when... will they, or perhaps... will they ever... realize that there are far better things to do with their time.
I don't wish financial misfortune on anyone. It's just that many of these self-righteous capitalists are in denial about the gambling they do in their lives. It's a spinning wheel, a roll of the dice; it's a dealt hand, a wager on a first time starter. It certainly is.
I'm fascinated that in this election year, many folks are more concerned with Sarah Palin's hairstyle than her ability to solve problems. It's particularly amusing for all these business as usual politicians are spouting how radical their idea of change is, how they bring a fresh approach. The negative campaign ads for the senate race here in Oregon are laughable. Here's what I mean. I turned on the evening news tonight, mostly to see the damage caused by Ike to Houston and the Galveston area. Oh yeah, and I was wondering how many financial institutions went belly up in the last few hours. Anyway, the race between incumbent senator Gordon Smith and his opponent Democrat Jeff Merkley is so bad that each commercial break is filled with no less than 3 or 4 separate ads attacking one another. Over and over these ads play like public torture. What are they thinking? That we don't know that in a two hour period we have been attacked with the same ads 20 plus times. That figure is correct. (see my notes on today's paper IIII/ IIII/ IIII/ IIII/)
One of the observations F. Scott Fitzgerald made in his novel The Great Gatsby is that Americans can't resist the temptation of the green light. Just as Gatsby was seduced by the possibility of the dream, so too is our culture. But the glory is often messy. We here in the USA do messy glory well. Green means go and so it is that anything goes. Be aware of who is always left to pick up the pieces.

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