Monday, May 31, 2004

When absolute mediocrity gets into the game, the rules have changed. New York Magazine does a celebrity trashing of Judy Miller The Bitch, bordered on the right side fo the page, at least when I read it, by a column length ad for Victoria's Secret. The backlash has begun.

The underlying problem with this country is not it has produced an absurd culture, but that it continues to produce an intellectual class and a nomenclatura that is almost pathologically unwilling to admit that absurdity. The world is full of con men and fools, but no one who considers him/her self intellectually serious is allowed to admit in public, with tears or laughter or even a bemused shrug, what they they know to be a simple fact of life, confirmed for them by every guilty private pleasure, by every ad and movie. It's not that the piece on Miller turns politics into gossip and public interest, it's that it's done without a nudge or wink. It's done in the same tone of earnest moralism used by Miller and the rest.

The self indulgence of mainstream America, fed by Hollywood and MTV is no more or less shallow, no more or less delusional and self absorbed than Nader, Chomsky, and the rest of the reformist kitsch that populates the history of this country.

Oddly enough I've been developing a fondness for the logic of business, not for the ideological defense of markets but the realist observation of human behavior. The simplest most honest response to I've heard to Bush and his war from anyone who's not a political junkie came from a stock broker, who's disgusted for reasons that are both moral and practical. I can wonder which came first, but there's no conflict this time at least and neither of us are interested in perfection. We get along because neither of us are idealists and we're both willing to admit it.

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