Sep 25 2008

Heroes & Villains

Category: Congress,corporations,corruption,economyamuzikman @ 6:29 pm

From our earliest childhood we are confronted by the epic struggle between the forces of good and evil.   We see it in literature, in sports, on stage and screen.  It is a subject with apparently endless possibilities.  This conflict between two opposing forces is frequently illustrated through fictitious characters who personify those forces and who engage in frequent battles for supremacy.  Countless myths and stories are told of heroes vs villains, evil witches and fairy God-mothers, the cowboy in the white hat vs. the one with a black hat.  For every Luke Skywalker there must be a Darth Vader, Batman has the Joker and the Dodgers have the Giants (sorry, bias exposed!). The object lesson is clear.  These stories teach us to seek the good.  Likewise we learn to shun the bad.

But what is so very clear and simple in a play, motion picture or novel, is almost never as clear in real life.  But that doesn’t keep us from trying to disregard the complex in favor of the simple.  We want to blame someone for their evil deeds and we want the hero to show up just in the nick of time and save us just like in some old serial Western.

The financial market is a mess.  There are many problems – and many reasons why.  Surely, I tell myself, no one can look at this convoluted conundrum and believe there is a single villain.  But then along comes David Lazarus in the L.A. Times (Wednesday, September 24, Section C, page 5):

No one told these guys to invest billions in ill-conceived mortgages and they did so for no better purpose than to make themselves richer.

Well, that is either a statement of incredible ignorance or a plain lie, (an aside: Why do you go to work in the morning, David?  Is it for no better purpose than to make yourself richer?  There’s a name for that – it’s called incentive.  And the word is not necessarily synonymous with greed, in spite of what you may think). Just read any of several blogs here and/or a plethora of information coming out now from a variety of sources and it’s easy to see someone did indeed tell these banks to make ill-conceived loans.  It was our own Federal Government.  Not only that, two governmentally instituted (and supervised) organizations, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, were at the forefront of this mess!

Now it makes for good copy to equate Wall Street with the Bates Hotel and all mortgage-backed securities traders as The Borg .  It fits quite well into the mold of comic book villains.  But this is real life.  We don’t all live in Metropolis and there’s no such thing as Kryptonite. In real life there is no shortage of people to blame, (though come to think of it – a lot of them do seem to be Democrats…but I digress).

Yet here were are waiting for the hero.  Who will ride in on a white horse and save the damsel in distress?  Who will rescue the foreclosed-upon homeowner lying there, helpless, tied to the railroad tracks as the train fast approaches?  Who can we trust?  Why it’s… it’s… The Federal Government?

I think we need a new hero.  I also think David Lazarus should resign from the Times and go see Stan Lee about a job.

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2 Responses to “Heroes & Villains”

  1. Daniel Semsen says:

    i love THE BORG. One of the greatest Star Trek villains ever.

  2. harmonicminer says:

    Resistance is futile.

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