The Spectacle Blog

Re: The Obama Bug

By on 6.12.07 | 12:55PM

Only it isn't possible to dispel the Age of Cynicism without eradicating the neurosis of which it's but a symptom: Self-Obsession. Cynicism is just a particularly jaded strain of the reflexive awareness that has come to dominate every waking moment (and many sleeping ones) in American life -- the thing that puts a My or a You in front of every Good and Service on the market; that floods the television and internet with designer lifestyle choices with price tags affixed if not always brandished; that has reduced the dramatic arts in this country to an endless and hyperactive drone of self-help, group therapy, mutual baggage exchange, pseudorepentant wank, teenage psychosis, and adult infantilism.

And that's to say nothing of politics -- where only identity, awareness, and raising identity awareness seem to have any currency at all; where political celebrities and celebrity politicians can clutter their wrists with rubber bands and their lapels with flags and ribbon pins secure in the triumph of unquestionable, unassailable empathy; where outpourings of commitment are constant and new laws unremittingly swamp over the old, the unfashionable, and the unenforced; and where no amount of seething, protesting, cause-walking, or guerilla marketing can either satisfy the appetite for the professionals of the fill-in-the-blank community or accomplish, when it really counts, as in, say, the case of blithely admitted genocide, anything remotely approaching action.

Good luck getting an end to this out of a politician. On a moment's reflection, one shudders even to try.

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