Thursday, July 16, 2009

The problem with capitalism in a nutshell

Have you seen this rather incredible video? Beck sounds decidedly Not Well throughout, but at about the 3:15 mark he genuinely appears to suffer some sort of psychotic break.



People like Beck, Malkin, and Savage are clearly suffering from undiagnosed mental disorders of some sort. A sane, healthy society would recognize this and get them the help they need. But what do we do in America? We give them Teevee and radio shows. Why? Because there's big money in it, and by our economic logic, nothing matters more than that. So--because there can be nothing wrong with anything profitable--we collectively pretend that there's nothing wrong with these people. In turn, they poison the public discourse (and themselves in the process), thus creating an even greater market for metal illness. A lovely little vicious circle.

I'm not saying that our public discourse would be magically fixed if such people were not given a public forum--there are plenty of right-wing screamers who are less obviously unwell who do a decent enough job of ruining everything they touch--but we have a system that encourages this kind of behavior. Logic and reasoned discourse would be all very well if they raked in the bux, but otherwise? Screw 'em. This is Murka, and the market is its insane, capricious monarch.

3 Comments:

Blogger Unknown pontificated to the effect that...

It's funny, after reading an article (in the New Yorker, IIRC) on Keith Olberman, where I learned about his rocky job history and that everyone who's ever worked with him thinks he's crazy (even his current producer), I concluded he was probably bipolar. He kind of reminds me of my dad.

But, then, Keith is just walking in the perceived footsteps of his archrival and secret hero, Bill O'reilly. Olberman's repressed love for the man is nearly palpable. So maybe it is all the fault of right wing nutjobs.

2:37 AM  
Blogger GeoX, who is here to stay, like it or not. pontificated to the effect that...

But does Olbermann actually act demonstrably crazy on-air? Sure, he clearly gets off on his own self-righteousness in his "special comments," but that doesn't seem quite the same.

Mind you, I rarely if ever watch Olbermann, probably because the idea of a show that does nothing but reinforce stuff I already believe isn't that interesting to me. Which is, in miniature, perhaps a good part of the reason left-wing talk radio never achieved critical mass.

3:05 AM  
Blogger Unknown pontificated to the effect that...

Yeah, I think some of his passion seems a bit manic. As I inimated, I grew up with a guy like that, and am sensitive to those times such folk might need to adjust their medication (or start taking it again). I've spoken with other people with experience in the area (most extensively my mother), and most of them have readily agreed with my assessment. Sure, Olberman's never so overtly nuts he belongs in an '80s cult film or the WWF of our childhoods, but that's just over the top, and indicative of other problems.

12:49 PM  

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