Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Gordon Brown, A Savior? Will Shannon, A Deadhead?

A few short (perhaps) shocking revelations for you on this lovely Tuesday. By the way, we will be all ready to go with the financial meltdown blame game later in the week The rogue's gallery thus far includes: Alan Greenspan, the Clinton Administration, sleazy mortgage brokers, Alan Greenspan, pie-in-the-sky consumers who should know better, Alan Greenspan, questionable ideas about risk management and a widely held assumption that (wait for it) turned out to be completely wrong (and was promoted by Alan Greenspan).

Now, the shocking news:

  • Is British Prime Minister Gordon Brown the Allmighty, The Savior of World Finance? Recent Nobel Laureate Economist Paul Krugman seems to think so. I personally think this is a case of Krugman, swollen with victory and the notion that his view of the world is coming to pass, throwing kudos to Brown for something that, well, I guess he did. I actually think (along with this really smart guy) that the Irish Government strong-armed Europe into intervention and they, in turn, strong-armed the USA into following suit. Sort of a "play by the new rules or don't play at all" sort of thing. Will this help Brown's generally sinking political fortunes? For a time, maybe. Long-term? No.
  • Is Will Shannon a Deadhead? Well, yes, I am. I does not seem to fit with my business casual dress or my generally sour demeanor about the world or my on-and-off hatred of mirth, whimsy, wonder and that sort of rot. The fact remains, however, that I have been a fan of San Fransisco's eternal house band for some years. Maybe it is their lyrical intricacy (piloted mainly by Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia and John Perry Barlow/Bob Weir). Maybe it is their jazz-like devotion to improvisation. Or maybe, just maybe, it is because they were not really political, prefering to leave the politics and shouting out and concentrate on the music. Well, the upshot of this revelation was a great piece in Reason from a few years back. Read it here. It brings together, in the form of a review of this book, a lot of what makes the Dead attractive to me. Boy, if anyone could make something like "hippie capitalism" work, it was them.

Actually, in closing and in considering the state of finance today, perhaps a quote from the Dead is apropos:

"The wheel is turning and you can't slow down,

You can't let go and you can't hold on,

You can't go back and you can't stand still,

If the thunder don't get you, then the lightning will."

1 comment:

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Being that I spent an inordinate amount of time around this guy in college, I can verify his claims to being a closet Deadhead for some time.

I like the Dead--enough. I just don't like their stinky entourage (except for that Ana chick I wanted to bone in college).