Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Who's watching the Watchmen? Who cares! Who's watching Wall Street!

I saw the Watchmen movie last week-end. I loved it if you really want to know. I seemed to be one of the few that did.

I have to applaud a superhero movie that finally did not forget to be a movie too. I loved the interplay of time, music and visual American icons, I loved the stylized fights, I loved the different textures that could be rendered on the screen from gritty polar noir to slick 80's rock video designs. I really love the syncretism of different moments in American history that created a surreal portrait of what it could mean to be an American in such times and how do one dealt with the anxiety of living in an empire gone mad. With masks and self-defeating prophecies or harrowing auto-fictions, seemed to suggest Moore and the directors. And love, love, love, of course... Girls, put your f*ck me leather boots on!

I was surprised to found out that Zack "We are Sparta" Snyder was responsible for such a coherent, successful, sharp-eyed adaptation of Alan Moore's comic. It was far from perfect, mind you. Xena look-a-like Silk Spectre, played by actress Malin Ackerman, was gorgeous and could deliver a kick but her acting was a bit as thin as her costume, unfortunately, with no second degree. Compare it to the three-names-guys, Jackie Earle Haley or especially Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who's somehow channeling a very, very mean Robert Downey jr, and it's clear that Spectre was not in the same league.

Nixon, Kissinger and all the other crazy boys of "How I learned to stop worrying and love the Bomb..." make an appearance and the only one missing was Peter Sellers. But every single frame is charged with a sense of hopeless irony and absurdist folly that Sellers himself would probably have recognize. Of course, if you like your movies quick and empty, this one is not for you. It's fast and furious enough but catching a bad guy and beating him to a pulp is not the whole point here. In this story, the villain is within. And catching him makes for a bitter harvest, indeed.

But I digress...

While we're watching the Watchmen, who's watching Wall Street? In fact, who's watching the government guys who are supposed to watch Wall Street?

We're in a freaking deep mess that is itself in a deeper mess. in literature, we call this "une mise en abyme" - or to be put into an abyss. Harry Shearer from HuffPost just discovered that in New Orleans (remember them?) just as much was spend in administrative cost than on building affordable housing units there. We're talking 40 to 50 millions for the pencil pushers and another 40 to 50 for the contractors/landlords to fix their units. Results? A little more than a 1000 units in two years. And the money keeps on coming...

I hope you see there is a big problem here.

Henry "Hank" Paulson worked at Goldman Sachs, he headed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and repealed the "net capital rule" that required brokerage firm to hold reserve capital that limited their investments and could offset their risks. He championed "voluntary regulation"(!!). In a way, he was one of the Wall Street elite, to use a word the Repugs love to hurl around, and he was ask to cuddle their way out of a mess he helped create. And somehow his decisions were made non-reviewable or unchallengeable by law.

I hope you see there is a problem here.

So not wanting to alarm the Rush Limbaugh of this world, we cannot talk of temporary nationalization as we should, so we can't clean house, we can't move in and react quickly enough to stop the crisis from getting worse. Obama is caught trying to be all thing to all people, unable to believe that we put him in power so he could tell a major "Fuck you" to the Wall Street Frat boys and their Bush Dynasty crew. He is stuck in pleasuring the masses mode warming up to the crooks and forgetting his main plan: getting Main Street it's due after years of numbskulls rulers.

So, Obama, you are either FDR or a sitting duck. Your choice. Emergency Banking Act, a restructuration of the SEC, a bonification of Unemployment benefits, Homeowner Loan's Corp. II and jobs, jobs, jobs…

Or be ready to start licking Limbaugh's feet like the rest of the yellow livered Dems BNO.

But incredibly, I still believe you can...

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