Wednesday, November 23, 2011

our investment in cultural icons

                                          their first murder (weegee)

using celebrities to stabilize our view of the world certainly a risky business. hence, our attention to scandal, especially sexual. i'm not surprised when a financier robs the bank. that's what he's born to do. however, if a president makes it with his secretary, big news! this, despite the affairs of jfk, the mistresses of eisenhower and roosevelt, and i find my interest (and more) aroused.

everybody likes to gawk at the mess of a car crash, the scene of crime, me included. i guess none of us can avoid three important questions: is it a danger, can i eat it, will it have sex with me? the survival of the species depends upon this awareness and taking immediate action. unfortunately, all kinds of sex illegal and threatening. no wonder fewer and fewer people marrying, both in the united states and in europe. why be prosecuted for having three husbands when you can simply live with three men? definitely, this is progress. if you can do without the wedding dress, maybe you can live modestly.

oscar wilde wrote: our servants will do our living for us. that's exactly the role of the public on pedestals we idolize. i sit in a bookstore cafe and watch men and women, young and old, studying US, people magazine, fan games day after day. the thrill only goes when one of them fails to behave - if it's a politician, he/she a dead duck. movie stars, on the other hand, cash in as long as they can. mea culpa gives them more covers.

and once a generation passes, new idols are born. each has its own. frank sinatra lives, as does elvis. we didn't depend on them at the bank. they get free passes. elect a poker-faced president on whom we can project all our hopes and desires and we're doomed to disillusionment, a huge disparity between promises made and promises kept. i, for sure, like to deny the complexities of the economy. print more money, that's my solution. why didn't anybody think of it?

you see how limited my resources and knowledge are. and i don't feel i'm alone. aren't you a one-issue voter? what matters most? mortgages, abortion, taxation? whatever we focus on becomes our god and we can do no wrong.

things can always be made to look different. here's a watercolor version of the revolving door: