Saturday, January 01, 2005

Defining Our Times

I have a bad feeling about this year. With the tsunami, of course, it couldn't have started much worse. America's failure as a world nation, let alone a world superpower, is quite incredible.

I am reading two books over the holidays - Absolute Friends, by John Le Carre and The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer. Suddenly America's failings are a stock-in-trade; the miscarriages of justice in America's courts are the place to go for a popular childrens' writer who wishes to set up an alienated futurist landscape for his teenagers. While Le Carre's solid seething rage at America's betrayal of its cold war vision makes for a polemic that few political commentators could hope to rival. And these were just the first two books I picked out.

I have the three Matrix movies to watch. (I saw the first one and hated it; the time has come to put the trilogy to bed.) But here is America's art. This, rather than smart bombs or venture capital is what will be remembered when America is broken. Which I continue to hope will not happen, but from the road it has now taken I can't see a turning back.