As good a sarcastic chuckle as this has been, there is a shadow cast across our little anti-capital celebration, as a grim spectre was invoked on the campaign trail. Eric Rauchway knows the seance:
Responding to the collapse of several major investment banks this week, John McCain reassured us, "I think still -- the fundamentals of our economy are strong." That move comes from an old playbook: On Oct. 25, 1929, Herbert Hoover declared, "The fundamental business of the country, that is the production and distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous basis."As Ezra Klein duly elaborated, "This is a guy who has said, proudly, 'I'm always for less regulation' and ...who, three years ago, wanted to turn Social Security over to Wall Street." And should you, even for a moment, find yourself deaf to the echo of Hoover, I'd point you in the direction of Lenin's Tomb for a swift reminder: "This crisis is rooted in the fundamentals."
Anyway, my modest goal for the week is to make a mix of musical misanthropy before I'm back off to Berlin. Currently in the capital is an art exhibition called Exactitudes, "a taxonomy-in-progress of street style," according to Momus. In spite of my sartorial ineptitude, I actually fit into one of the project's tidy tribal pigeonholes - archetype #19, Vagabonds, within which I am frighteningly similar to this guy. Were he wearing a John Lennon mask, he'd be a friggin' dead-ringer. Ignoring that whittling the breadth of the human guise to 96 "tribes" is still woefully insufficient (I know about three people who could conceivably be found in the Exactitudes chart), I'm a little disturbed by how the project casts appearance as an elected self-symbolisation, not as a product of circumstance & lifestyle. As though everyone from the religious devout to trustafarians, from yuppies to genuine street people, put equal consideration & effort into how they present themselves - and have access to the same kinds of tools & accessories to sculpt their exteriors. This looks awfully like more condescending poorism, though since it's billed as an "art exhibition" instead of a glossy multipage advert, I doubt it'll ignite the appropriate level of ire.