Saturday, September 20, 2008

today : I am mildly disappointed

I don't like to say it, but when the Hadron collider was turned on and then nothing happened, well, part of me was disappointed. It wasn't that I wanted the earth to be swallowed into a black hole, but part of me didn't really mind. The same happened when Lehman Bros disappeared into its own black hole of bad mortgage debt. I kind of wanted the entire banking system to go into meltdown. I was apprehensive, waiting for the dominoes to start falling. And then I was mildly disappointed when they stayed upright.

I really really don't want anyone to suffer at all. But just a small part of me is so seduced by the society of the spectacle, that it just wants more and more spectacle. And better spectacle. When an earthquake happens, I want to see it happening, when the Tsunami happened it was mildly frustrating that it took several days for the cameras to arrive.

Two things have ramped it all up. Firstly there were the green night vision pictures of Baghdad being bombed in the first gulf war. It was war, and it was live. Right
there on my TV screen.

Then there was, of course, September 11th 2001. As a spectacle it was stunning. The size and awfulness of the events unfolding on our TV screens trumped everything that had gone before, and set the bar for the flaneurs in us all.

So to find that the world financial system has been temporarily reprieved has left me a little disappointed. Who wants an economics expert explaining short trading and toxic leveraged instruments when you can have falling buildings, explosions and the earth disappearing into a black hole like a tissue into a vacuum cleaner?

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