The 2008 race for the presidency of the United States is awash in dreamlike qualities that warrant interpretation by all concerned.
And, as it happens, when the USA is the subject of discussion, all indeed are concerned. Is there a being on the planet left untouched (or should one say unscathed) by what happens in that country? That country so far away for many, yet irritatingly near to all.
The world watches with disbelief as the presidential campaign rages. The funds to float each candidate alone are stunning - more so if one understands that these are the very funds that find their genesis in such instruments of fiscal tomfoolery as the now infamous credit default swaps ("CDS"). A financial instrument once hidden from public scrutiny, now understood by even the most rudimentarily educated citizen. The CDS, a national ponzi scheme, cheque kiting on an international scale. And that, it seems is just the beginning of this unseemly fiasco.
The CDS system of bailing out debt, bucket by bucket between our esteemed institutions is just the birth place for a system which - had the man in the street known - would have been shown the abortionists table many years ago.
Greenspan - an appropriate name for the man who presided over the the spanning of more green than any other before him, can now be seen and heard publicly saying I told you so while we scratch our heads saying 'told us what?'And Bernanke, shaky of voice, stares blankly into the CNN lens yet continues spanning, stretching, eking out every morsel of debt from every tidbit of credibility that debt for paper will allow. Wondrous.
Yet, were it not so, where would we all be - those of us fortunate to make up the 10% of the world that eats, sleeps and works without apparent stress (well, that's how it used to be) or strain.
Are we to take the US seriously? Perhaps we should have 4 years ago and 8 years ago and 12 years ago and 16 years ago and so on back to the days of confederation. Historians can doubtless point to events that lead this nation, great as it was once, to the point now where it is simply a parody of itself. A self-mocking goofy-kid, spoilt, gluttonous yet disarmingly friendly and reaching out as if to say; sorry man, I did not mean to piss you off.
How do so many decent folk come together to represent a national oaf?
The lies, the deceipt, the fear, the greed, the humpty-dumpty fragility of politics in the US mesmerizes all but the brain dead. Lurching from bravado to tears, from war to remorse, from bully to samaritan, from destroyer to saviour - where will this journey end? Even the enemy, unseen as he is, knows that this USA cannot be undone. Unwound perhaps, but not undone. Chastised for sure, chagrined with ease, scolded for sure; bothered, buggered and beset upon no doubt. Stunned, oh yes. Only to rise on the wings of its beloved eagle, dragging that flag behind it in its talons, up, up, up into the blue skies above California and Arizona and beyond. A flip of the dollar 'heads you win' and whammo, the US is back in business. You know it.
Addicted to war and debt, a few years in detox and the US will emerge from the next 4 years of democratic rule to our head-shaking disbelief, in glory once more, ready to topple into the next partisan abyss.
It is not oil. That would be be too simple. They put a simple man there to disguise a simple myth these past 8 years. What it is, is the a need for recognition. The US wants us to know that it is relevant. And like it or not, it is.