Sunday, July 27, 2008

Like Debord, but minus the Marxism

Apologies for the pretentious title but, after reading Joe Bageant today, I was vaguely reminded of a book that a roommate lent me twenty years ago. Like I said, vaguely; I won't insult your intelligence with cherry picked* quotes that demonstrate a similarity. I can't remember exactly when it occurred to me that the Situationist "claptrap" that I rolled my eyes at in my twenties still seemed dated, but it had also come to seem to remarkably prescient. This was just an excuse to blog about that, it certainly wasn't a criticism of Bageant's piece.

It's also an excuse to mention a 2006 Economist article with the subtitle, "Barack Obama is unlikely to get a better chance to run for president." File it under things seen while clearing library shelves; unfortunately, without a paid subscription, you only get the first two paragraphs online. Obama's emergence as a front runner should have only been a surprise to people that weren't paying attention. I suspect that it became a surprise to people who liked the narrative. With the Florida and Michigan controversies making Obama's small state strategy less risky, you could probably come up with a plausible defense of Mark Penn. But, why would you want to?

Just to be clear, none of the above has anything to do with November. Given a choice between a typical Democrat and a typical Republican, I'll vote for the Democrat.

*Not that I ever intentionally cherry pick such quotes. I don't; it's up to the reader to decide when the writer is, either intentionally or subconsciously, forcing such comparisons and when such comparisons are valid.

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