Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Lean Left, but Don't Fall Over

In the recent issue of Open City, Vince Passaro declares his resistance to the tyranny effecting America- our need for things. In his essay, Mr. Passaro paints the American cultural/consumer landscape with a broad and stereotypical brush. And while it may be truthful and perhaps even gutsy to point out the stupidity of American consumerism- it is probably not the best approach to label all Americans as foolish and ridiculous for the few who want a latte with extra foam, a remodeled bathroom or a gas guzzling SUV- a lesson that should have been learned in the 2004 election.

Mr. Passaro writes-

Then, in April, I was watching the NCAA championships with my middle son, a basketball fan. “Prelude to a Championship” is what the network was calling the pregame show. People with a historical sensibility look back—or used to, anyway—with fascination and horror at the bombast of Fascist rituals. It’s not that big a stretch to think that someday people will look at most nights of American network television in the same way—the overblown warlike language, the fiery orange graphics, the drumbeats of ancient tribes preparing to attack. And the ads: “Nothing is more powerful than the truth,” says a famous coach I don’t recognize. He looks gravely into the camera from a darkened basketball court. “And the truth is, more people buy Chevrolet than any other car.”

However truthful Mr. Passaro's logic may be, it does little good to berate a public Mr. Passaro himself admits to being brainwashed for doing what they've been told to do. A more commendable approach would be to expound on the patriotic value of self-restraint. But, it seems that neither political side can restrain themselves from blaming ethos of the other.


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