Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Autumn in the West

Not that it's a new or novel thought, but the tea-sipping accolades that the West offered when demonstrations and outright shooting erupted in the north of Africa and the Middle East has been all but quelled by the eruptions in its own backyard. No longer is the matter an expression of cozy, philosophical applause. Now the mud splashes up on our own trousers. Now our own armies will have to be called out...'to maintain order.' The 'Arab Spring' is now the 'Autumn in the West.'

In Los Angeles and Philadelphia, police have cleared out the Occupy movement protesters. In England, two million public sector workers have gone on strike. "Schools, hospitals, courts and government offices around the UK are among services being disrupted, as more than 1,000 demonstrations take place."

Supermarket meat shelves may soon include equine cuts. My father used to tell me that the French ate horse meat and he recommended it to me as a comparatively cheap and tasty meat.

And this morning, as my (poorly copy-edited) fluff piece on refrigerator magnets saw the light of published day, it occurred to me that there is something ludicrous about the current gaggle of Republicans who are vying to be the presidential candidate in 2012.  Each of them is trying so diligently not to say anything of substance while the world around them cries out for substance ... damn near any substance will do. The Republican wannabes strike me as the refrigerator magnets (much style, little substance) of a civil society that is being driven downward by a spiral of what is often a very concrete and consequential anguish. The eurozone is teetering on a debt-crisis implosion. American Airlines, rather belatedly compared to its competitors, filed for bankruptcy Tuesday. As elsewhere, it is the employees who will suffer the most as stockholders are bouyed.

The autumnal winds are everywhere and winter is yet to come.

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