Monday, January 09, 2006

15. Better Than Ezra

I usually sit at a Quizno's on Thursday, reading the new L.A. Weekly. I've only recently started reading the articles that come before the music section, because I've never much cared for reading. But this week they had their big "Zeitlist," their "annual compendium of 1. Politics, 2. Culture and 3. Ephemera" and I found one list in particular rather ridiculous. It was called "4 Reasons to be Glad Bush Is Still President". I'll let you take a second and read it over before I dissect it.

Now then, let's dive in. (Aside: I usually like the work Boing Boing does, and enjoyed his article in the L.A. Weekly, but I don't like his opinion on this article.

The thing I find interesting by this article is the fact that it is no way supporting him. This isn't that new to me, considering L.A. Weekly is a complete left-wing paper. The reasons you should be glad Bush is still President have to do with his failure as a leader and decision-maker, and the authors, Ezra Klein and Joshuah Bearman, assert that he's so screwed now that you should be glad it's not a Democrat in office (Kerry, specifically.) In it, they write,

"The fact is that there's no good solution to Bush's disaster, and that's why it should stay his and his alone. Bush built the SS Fuck Up single-handedly, so he can sit in the bridge, snap a crisp salute and go down with it all by himself."

ZING! They continue on this destructive point, emphasizing that he made his bed, not he'll lie in it. Later, they write,

"Soon, someone will either have to 1) raise taxes, 2) cut programs or 3) preside over the recission that will result from foreign governments refusing to bankroll our debt. He's the Accountability President; let him bask in all the blame."

Or how about this juicy quotation,

"Now they'll emerge, in all their glorious criminality, and the country will really get to see Dorian Gray's portrait."

It IS bad to form to gloat, and certainly not necessary. I'm not one of the people who believe in rubbing facts in people's faces, but I also don't mind pointing out the obvious. But I'm still not sure this whole situation is obvious. If I remember correctly, the recession they speak of was a result of the last few years of Clinton's office term and the increasing pressure and leverage put on the tech market (or "bubble"), which inevitably crumbled under the weight of its' own superiority and therefore, inferiority. The stock market too crashed as a result of this bubble burst, which was something that could have stopped in Clinton's reign, but it was too late in Bush's. Certainly 9/11 didn't help the country's economy either. I don't think many people wanted to ride on a plane after that. I don't think many people wanted to go to work in a high-rise and concentrate. I think the country was grieving. Probably a few months too long, but what are you going to do?!

Schadenfreude. This is an interesting topic. And leave it up to the Germans to create this one. I first heard this term on Boston Legal, and mainly because it was a scene in which Heather Locklear took pleasure in watching her husband die.


The L.A. Weekly article is supposed to be criticizing the Bush administration, but I think there is a fine line between criticism and Schadenfreude, and I don't think they quite understand it. Schadenfreude implies that the joy you are getting is from watching someone ELSE's misfortunes. When the President of the United States fails, the United States of America fails. Since we are part of the U.S.A., we fail, too. And that's not Schadenfreude. When Bush failed at operating with functionality during Hurricane Katrina, the country as a whole failed. Many people died as a result of his administration failing to react to the situation and situations before and after the hurricane hit. I do not take pleasure in watching that unfold. When Bush's national debt grew by 40 percent, signaling that even more people will have to go under the poverty level after taxes will inevitably have to be raised in compensation, the whole country failed. Many people will lose their jobs because of the slowing economy, or because of the need to raise taxes in essence to pay off the national debt increase. I agree that certain things about the Bush administration need public exposure, but they do not need gloating and they certainly don't need schadenfreude.

You may ask: Is criticism bad for a country? No. CONSTRUCTIVE criticism isn't bad either. I think it's preferred, even if it's not accepted as viable. Constructive criticism implies that you care about the situation to WANT to work through it and help everyone involved. Cricitism does nothing for a country. It just points out the apathy in the American way of life. It should be noted, though, that criticism with an admission of no good solution IS okay. If you think something is bad, but you admit you don't know how to fix it, I think that is okay, and honorable. As long as you're working towards a decision within yourself.

This article is neither constructive or criticism at all. It's merely a piece showing the failure of the AUTHORS to grasp the whole concept at hand. That is, the destructive work of their article on the American psyche. Thankfully, I doubt many people read it anyway.

I don't take pleasure in watching the destruction of my country. Do you Ezra Klein and Joshuah Bearman?

Free To Be You And Me


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freedom Fighter:

You're totally right! What a smart post, I didn't even notice it when I saw it myself. You should send that in as a letter to L.A. Weekly, I'm sure they'd love to see it.

Keep it up.


1/10/2006 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yo. it was just a joke. just something to laugh at, i'm sure they weren't even thinking of i tlike that. lighten up.

1/11/2006 12:08 AM  

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