Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1, 2009

     I think the poet William Butler Yeats had it about right:    
"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction,  while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."
I mean, how would you describe an America in which General Motors files for bankruptcy? They gave us hints of course.  The one that sticks in my mind is the day when the three auto company chiefs came to Washington to testify before a Congressional committee, each arriving in D. C. aboard his own private jet.  And you thought, can they really be that dumb?  And, of course, they could.
But that is not the America we were taught to believe in.  We were taught that it was government that was stupid and foolish, that the genius of America was its captains of industry -  masters of the universe, they sometimes called themselves.  If dumb, old government would just get out of the way things, would be swell forever.
So now it's all new and strange.  Is that a car company over there?  Nope, just a rusting Pontiac.  What was a Pontiac?  Never mind, son, doesn't matter any more.  Will there be an American car industry?  Beats me, pal.  Somebody somewhere will build 'em and we'll probably buy 'em, if we have the money.  The future?  A great mystery.  Mr. Yeats again:
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

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