Saturday, October 25, 2008
So you are about to be evicted: from your homes, your jobs, your relationships, and your lives. It's the economy, stupid: it has to shed some dead wood. In the United States, one follows after the other. First the job goes, then the bank forecloses on the house, then the local Republicans try to get you purged from the voting rolls (not that this is essential to the process), then your relationship breaks down. Then, sometimes, follows a murderous and/or suicidal outburst. If it comes to murder, quite often the perpetrator is someone who has thus far been successful. It is as if, having internalised success as the expression of a unique set of attributes they possess, the perp now internalises failure. He, almost invariably a he, sets out to destroy himself and those possessions, including family members, that he considers to be appurtenances of his personality. This is all the more remarkable given that many of the perpetrators have money to live reasonably on for some years, and could more readily ride out any crisis than most of us humble Joe Plumbers (or whatever the fuck the bromide is this week). The process, bar the voting purges, is not that different in the UK. But perhaps this is too cheerful an assay. It assumes a 'normal' recession, perhaps comparable to the early 1990s, whereas all signs are that this one will be "a doozy".