Saturday, September 09, 2006

What's Going On, Above Ground At Least

The NYT reports that the Democrats are continuing to pressure ABC to give up on airing The Path to 9-11. I can't blame them, tactically, after the right-wing blogosphere forced The Reagans off of prime time; I'm sure it struck them as a case of "turn-about is fair play."

As usual, however, the amount of hype this issue has gotten is pretty depressing. With a handful of exceptions, the public square and corridors of power, was preoccupied with other things. From Kosovo, to "Dow 36,000", Y2K, and a certain blue dress, we, the people, had other things on our minds. Could, Clinton have done more in the late 90's, I would say yes, in retrospect. However, I certainly didn't see GW or his advisors playing Paul Revere about the Al Qaeda on the campaign trail in 2000. My impression at the time was that Bush&Co were more worried about the boys in Beijing and Baghdad, if anything, given a Republican foreign-policy space was leaning towards isolationism and away from "Clinton Wars".

None the same, this debate is another depressing comment on the state of our countries political discourse. When every film, every news broadcast, every organization and every activist gets fed into the hype machine of our "for us or against us" political culture, it elevates the loud-mouths and blowhards, the Michael Moores and Ann Coulters, and alienates the rest of us from politics. The Dems, for their sake and ours, would have been better to leave it alone and treat The Path for what it is, a made for TV movie, and let it rest in blissful ignomity.

PS. For some random examples, if you really need any, of loud-mouths, blowhards, and hype, here are a couple YouTube vids: MM on the O'Reilly Factor, and AC on Jeremy Paxman. You have been warned, view at your own risk. . .

Now to chill out, Today's YouTube Pick! A masterful concert performance by Marvin Gaye of What's Going On/What's Happening Brother taken from an out of circulation 1973 film, Save the Children, and cut with evocative vintage footage of inner-city Chicago.


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