Monday, October 28, 2002

Lula is in. Now we have to watch how The Powers That Be respond. Given the current climate, any cynical attempts by international finance to undermine him will be seen as such by people who ten years ago might not have paid attention. I remember the stories that circulated around David Rockefeller after he appeared before the senate to complain about US support for Unita. He had a stake in the refineries that the Cuban troops were defending, and Angola paid its debts. Lets see how resilient Lula is, and what tricks are pulled against him.
Some nice words on Lula from Nathan Newman.

Mexico is with France against the new US program for Iraq
And the use of extortion is being discussed more openly by it's defenders and not only by its critics.

It's frustrating the degree to which, in this country, political and cultural sophistication seem so mutually exclusive, how much the philosophy of culture in the respectable left is as mechanistic as that of the right. Alterman discoursing on Springsteen has more to do with a middle class Jewish intellectual's need for acceptance by the (Goyishe) white working class than anything else. But the general tendency on the left to imagine that art is or should be somehow educational or edifying and therefore useful is disturbing, especially since as a backlash, art, and politics, are defended as nothing but inarticulate expression and a freedom from responsibility. That the pursuit of pleasure as pleasure, and as complexity, should need to be described as either moral or amoral is ridiculous. Ironically, this is one of the reasons so much of American culture, as opposed to American politics, was given open rather than grudging respect in Europe. The freedom from expectation is one of the the reasons American art -music, film and to a lesser extent literature- was as preeminent as it was for a time.

No other country on the planet is ruled by such simple dichotomies.

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