Friday, January 27, 2012

Such a Sophisticated Understanding of Economics

Where we're making stuff and selling stuff and moving it around and UPS drivers are dropping things off everywhere.
Why do I keep thinking back to John Brunner's The Jagged Orbit, set in what was then the future, where a semiliterate black man is President of the United States, and journalists throw softballs at him so that they don't make him look bad, while he reads written responses that he clearly does not understand?
President Gaylord: Morning, laze an' gemmun.
Reporters: By God, it is too! Right on the ball so far today, Prexy!
President Gaylord: (chuckles)
Dean of reporters: First off, Prexy, your comments on the decision to admit Morton Lenigo to this country in view of his known participation in the dynamiting of Cardiff Castle, Wales, the expulsion of the Lord Mayor of Manchester, England, and the knee seizure of the city of Birmingham, England, and additionally in view of the insurrection mounted in New York City over by X Patriots and other extremist groups which have reacted to the decision as a confession of weakness in face of threats from Ghana, Nigeria, and other knee-blank powers.
President Gaylord: Ah-yeah, that one was comped for me, I think. just a second. (Shuffles documents on desk.) Here we are. "The decision to admit Morton Lenigo was taken in full cognizance of the allegations made against him by racialist spokesmen in his home country of Britain, and in pursuance of the ideals of the Great Society which is designed to maintain a homo-ah-homo-genius?-ah."
Dean of reporters: "Homogeneous," maybe, Prexy?
President Gaylord: I guess so. "-balance between the justifiably independence-desirous colored citizens of the planet and their fellows who by accident of circumstances have found themselves in a position of greater good fortune."
Reporters: (laughter)
Unidentified reporter: Keep pitchin', darl-that one swerved like a (last word indecipherable, laughter) 
Obama is not at this level, but there are times that I fear that Brunner (who showed remarkable abilities to see the future) was close.


  1. The trouble with satire, and it includes many articles that would have been attributed to The Onion only a few short years ago, is that reality all to often catches up with it.
    And yes, our President is not by any stretch a President Gaylord, but satire always involves unflattering exaggeration.
    The real comparison is with the adoration of entertainers as people with worthwhile things to say. Idiocracy is another bit of satire that hits scarily close.

  2. The problem isn't that Obama is at that level. The problem is that Obama thinks that we are at that level.

    What I fear is that too many voters are at that level.