Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flopping Around

I read an article (here) today about the new "Spider Man" musical and how U2 is trying to distance themselves from the production, stating that there is still some work to be done, even as the premiere is hours away.  The musical itself has cost around $70 million to produce and has been panned by the critics.  On top of that, it's apparently safer to be a lumberjack than it is to be a star in the show.  In other words, it's shaping up to be the Titanic of musicals -- just the ticket to be a symbol of the faltering culture of a faltering time.

Looking at the upcoming U.S. presidential election, I confess that I feel the same way about it, too.  The leading Republican candidate's main qualification is that he's been able to raise a lot of funds, without really specifying what he stands for.  The incumbent Democrat president has apparently been overwhelmed by the scope and scale of the problems of the presidency (hint, Mr. Obama -- when none of your party's heavyweights are seeking the top job in politics, the job itself has probably become something of a lemon, with the tires falling off and an engine packed full of Stop-Leak and metal shavings).  Some of the Republican runners-up include department store mannequins and stunt doubles from a torch-and-pitchfork mob.  Ron Paul, probably the most philosophically sound member of the bunch, has been shoved to the back of the pack.  Picking a new emperor is always a dodgy business.  Now, it's becoming a parody.

While the Leibowitz Society doesn't take political sides, the problem remains that a nation without solid leadership in difficult times is going to find itself in worse and worse trouble as people try to figure out which way the wind is blowing during a hurricane.  We need to start figuring out how our systems are going to work when cheap oil is gone and the dollar becomes worthless, not how we can try to keep the barbarians beyond the "limes" of Kabul or Cairo, or how we can keep building homes that will never see an occupant or cars that will have nothing to run on that the average person can afford. 

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