Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This Must Be Ennui

I'm not looking forward to the new year. Mostly, I think it's going to be boring.

On a personal level, the year will be about navigating the narrow path between insecurity and opportunity during a recession. On a more general or political level, a national and international level, it will be about the first year of the Obama administration, the first year of a government mostly controlled by the Democratic Party.

After the primaries and the election, the prospect of an Obama Presidency seems so anti-climactic. This must be ennui.

I haven't been able to bring myself to read any of the lists of the most important, good and bad, events of 2008 the mainstream media has floated. I haven't been able to bring myself to read any of the predictions for 2009. And, in the middle of the most serious economic recession of my adult life, with the world's financial system in crisis and Israeli troops deep inside Gaza -- that seems so sexual -- I read, but don't have the inclination to talk about important articles like Lewis and Einhorn's The End Of The Financial World As We Know It.

Instead, I find myself drawn to an academic piece of fluff by Stanley Fish, bombastically styled: The 10 Best American Movies.

I don't know Professor Fish, but, after looking at his list of American movies and reading his biography, I don't think his take on American cinema is very interesting. What is interesting is that I knew right off that if I googled Stanley Fish and Bill Ayers, I was going to find something. As a matter of fact, my google search didn't let me get any further than Stanley Fish and Bill, before it suggested Stanley Fish and Bill Ayers.

It turns out that Professor Fish is one of those Chicago academics and intellectuals who have been instrumental in rehabilitating Bill Ayers' reputation.

I missed Fish's Much Ado, Mush Ado?, piece about Ayers last year, and I'm glad I did. With the election settled and Obama's so-called "guilt by association" no longer an issue, I can see that Obama's lack of interest in American history and the social and political issues of the '60s is less important than the kind of men and women he has embraced and been embraced by in return. These are the people who will make up the "Obama administration." They will be the architects and re-builders of American government during the Obama years.

Academic, irrelevant and boring one and all.

1 comment:

basking kafka said...

I feel the resistance, regrettably justified. I was emailed the 10 Best Movies list and didn't even bother to investigate who could write such crap, but it figures. Gaza/ Israel, an implacable quagmire. And after reading the Lewis and Einhorn piece, I'm quickly moving into "shunning the human race" mode.

Did see two films over the holidaze you would like: "Frost/Nixion" - superb acting, and BIorN, solid filmmaking...cathartic too. I loved everything about "Slumdog Millionare"!!