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    Bush suspended Davis-Bacon? S..., 2005-09-09 11:44:18 | Main | Last night Bill Maher had Jim ..., 2005-09-10 10:57:37

    lawrence kaplan says:

    “America, Fuck YOU!" As an American who watches hours a day of panel shows populated by Lawrence F. Kaplans as a way of unwinding from the day’s work - I enjoy high political comedy somewhat more than the average bear - I should prolly make a fake reg. and see what this liberal publication has to print on the matter of our imminent cultural collapse.

    Kaplans runs with the following:

    William Bennet. Charles Krauthammer. David Brooks. Norman Podhoretz. Tom Ridge. George W. Bush. ... the '90s were wasted years, the decade's signature traits being narcissism, cultural rot, and sheer purposelessness ... slide into nihilistic mediocrity if its citizens are not inspired by some larger national goal ... the first task of government [ed.: e.g.] is to convey a spirit of confidence and vigor that can then spill across the life of the nation ... we crave 'a new birth' of the confidence we used to have in ourselves and in 'America the Beautiful.' But there is only one road to this lovely condition of the spirit, and it runs through what Roosevelt and Churchill called the 'unconditional surrender' of the enemy ... For too long, our culture has said, 'If it feels good, do it.' Now, America is embracing a new ethic and a new creed: 'Let's roll.' ... America's civic vigor was greatly enhanced, both following the national fratricide of the 1860s and amidst the plunge into global conflict between 1917 and 1919." The pattern held during World War II and the cold war, conflicts that boosted everything from membership in voluntary associations to the fortunes of the civil rights movement. ... not only has everything not changed since September 11; nothing has. ... dubbed "the new normalcy" resembles nothing so much as the old normalcy.

    He then goes on at length explaining, basically, how the same "National Greatness" hacks told Americans to do exactly that: only they wanted more of it. Buy more stuff, etc. His advice? Generically speaking Americans need to participate more in their democracy, apparently, and the government ought to encourage them to do so. Cute. What he means by this is presumably a story covered elsewhere, since the details are left largely to the imagination. But allow me to allege without the easily made argument that American culture, so far as it goes, may not have shown any improvement since 9/11 but has nevertheless never been stronger than in any previous period, should one look around a little, outside an increasingly puritanical government and the feeble defensive postures of liberalism in the culture 'war'. If it feels good let it roll.


:: posted by buermann @ 2005-09-09 15:21:26 CST | link





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