Friday, June 04, 2010

713 Nothing Has Changed But the Distance

713 Nothing Has Changed But the Distance

What's wrong with us, anyway? Have we forgotten how to talk with one another? Have we forgotten how to work together? Have we forgotten that we're all Americans? Nothing here changed during the month abroad. But the month gives us distance and maybe perspective. And from this perspective, even the good guys in government and politics are bad.

Seven thousand miles off shore, it's easy to forget the Palins and the tea party and the Keystone Kops Congress. From a distance, we look like a bunch of nut jobs and NOBODY is running the asylum. The two major parties in Taiwan are as vigorous a pair of opponents as anyone can imagine. But when push comes to shove, it's country first and party second. They have differing views about the role of government. And about relations with the mainland, about 140 miles away, shore to shore. But they don't try to destroy each other as we do here. At least not so's you can see it.

We have returned to continued nattering about minutia. We have returned to a place where efforts to contain the largest oil contamination in our history are offset by drilling still more potentially dangerous wells. We have returned to periodic stock market mini-melt downs caused by... what? Human error at a computer terminal? Or nerves about what's happening to two countries of the European Union, one small and one medium? Free market, or fear market?

We return to the continuing battle between those who want "small" government (which really means no government or anarchy,) and those who want to maintain fairness and at least nominal equality. And they are beating each other to death.

When you read or view or listen to the news, can you conclude anything other than "everything's a crisis!"

The philosopher and social critic Charles A. Richards of Austin TX likens us to a scorpion stinging itself to death for want of an external enemy. If you think that's extreme, take a closer look at the debate over Arizona's immigration "reform" law and its ripple effects.


Shrapnel:

--Fox Business Network reports NBC Chief Jeffy Zucker has a 30-40 million dollar golden parachute in place for when Con Cast takes over. A brilliant producer, but not much of a network CEO. Forty million?

--Speaking of Fox TV, with Simon Cowell of the show, will anyone watch "American Idol" next season? There's no reason to unless you like to hear the screeching that passes for singing these days. Maybe they can get "correspondent" Sarah Palin as a replacement for Cowell.

--Art Linkletter has died at the age of 97, leaving behind a zillion acre ranch in Australia and what's left of the profits from his ownership of the tourist film sale concession stands at Disneyland, not to mention decades of vapid television. He tried to lure us into the Norman Rockwell myth and in many cases, succeeded. He elevated the banal into high art, which did no good for art, but plenty of good for Art.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010


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