The Blue Raccoon

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Capitalism Eats Own Head
Murdoch's bid for the Wall Street Journal is poetic justice. And pathetic.

Mogul Rupert Murdoch, man who helped bring into the world The Simpsons, Scully and Mulder and Bill O'Reilly, is soon to assimilate the venerable Wall Street Journal.

I would weep for the free press, except that isn't really free anymore, and in the case of the WSJ, this is a fitting and appropriate end to its independence. While the paper's journalism was always of first water, the editorial pages and general attitude was to favor and savor the evolution of state capitalism.

Will protestors chain themselves to the front, side and back gates of the WSJ's offices and force the police to come pry them off, to prevent Murdoch from entry on the appointed day and hour? I think not.

The WSJ is the dead tree fibre media, anyway, and despite its historic sweep and gravitas, it, too, is getting broom-boomed into the dustbin. What will Murdoch put on Page 6? The Fed chair in his skivvies? Leg shots of Laurie Dhue?

Now, in the Warner Brothers cartoon world in which we live, the big one is eating the smaller one, and so on and so on and so on....

By the way, the most offensive commerical on television I've of late passed by and seen is the current Mercedes Summer Love campaign. If you've not experienced this latest paen to the pscho-sexualization of hunks of metal with moving parts, you're fortunate. Attractive people cavort in arty fashion with their sleek, gleaming new Mercedes-Benz cars, there's a falling rose petal reference to American Beauty (and nobody remembers a)how that actually ended and b) that in the original script, he did the underaged cheerleader...) and 1940s visual quote of the raising-of-the-leg while kissing. Toward the end, a young woman caresses her car while fireworks blow off in the distance, a not-too-subtle reference to orgasm, and, by the way, a riff on the 1969-1974 Love American Style anthology sitcom. Yeah, this is love, USA style for sure: loving a machine that is incapable of loving you in return. All these object-of-affection images are played upon the warm, wonderful voice of Sam Cooke.

The subtext is: you love this thing, and will do what you can to keep it; this includes sending off other people's children and parents to get killed and maimed in a splended little war.

I leave off with this example of how, without some kind of unthinkable seismic alteration of the world-as-it-is that it's just going to get worse: I was returning home with a Smoothies dinner for me and my wife--a good walk of about five blocks, that is, nothing--when I happened across the son of a good friend of mine. He and his lovely girlfriend were getting into his car. I chatted.

Turned out he was picking her up to go to dinner. I asked where. He gave the name of a restaurant not even two blocks away. I couldn't restrain my surprise and this is why I guess I'm coming off, at 45, as a crank and a coot. "Your're at least 25 years younger than me!" I blurted. "You'll spend more time finding a place to park than it would to walk."

The young man, a little sheepish, said, "She's too lazy."

The woman peered under the window and said, "I was too hungry to walk."

This attitdue isn't the first I've encountered, the "Why walk when you can drive?" persepctive. I live as far outside of that as I am able that when I encounter it, I just sink inside.

Well, billion-eyed Blue Raccoon audience, I got work to do. Enjoy your day.

A great epic post is in the offing, then they'll be short, like this one.

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