Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Classic Revisited

The beauty of a classic is the ease with which it can be updated even as it is retold. Shakespeare’s Hamlet moves easily between the centuries with each new production. Classic literature is infinitely adaptable to time and place.

Take the French classic The Story of O, which tells the tale of the training of a female submissive. In the French version, O was a female fashion photographer who loved every indignity to which she was forced to submit. In the updated version, the submissive in training is a male politician so driven by ambition he submits willing to the demands of his handlers.

There are some differences between the two:

· In the original, the heroine admitted her submissiveness; in the updated version, the protagonist is in denial.
· The original was erotic; the revision isn’t.

Our hero is always willing to shill for his handlers. With the Senate passage of the healthcare reform bill, our hero has been trotted out to sing his masters’ song, touting the bill as a major breakthrough when all it does is force the poor to buy insurance from private insurers and fining them if they fail to do so.

His minions accompany him with their familiar descant-: It’s not perfect but it’s the best we could get. Don’t worry; we’ll revisit it latter; it’s only the first step in a long process.

Not.

It’s the same song and dance they did when the Medicare drug bill was passed.

Nothing will change; nothing will be revisited. Their masters have spoken and the bill is as it is and as it will remain.

Our contemporary Story of O could well be subtitled Much Ado About Nothing.

4 comments:

Ivan Hentschel said...

Yes. Even as we are bombarded by email propaganda from Obama, and slathered with blather by leading congress members (Reidification and Pelosi-ism), and then told wondrous stories by the media( even Paul Krugman, in the NYT, caved in), there is nothing new here. The entire production number (like a Hollywood musical spectacle) has begat nothing much. Rather more than just " a do" about nothing, the health care reform circus has been more of a re-statement of the nature of insanity, wherein you do the same old things you've always been doing, and expect to get diffrent results.

Our "representative" simply government isn't, and any efficacy it may ever had has been lost to avarice.

How odd that we should be told to settle for less than mediocrity when , at least in theory, we have the resources for greatness. We are hypocrits unto ourselves. Sadly, the story of "Oh, no!"

Ivan Hentschel said...

It later occured to me that all of this empty praise being heaped upon such a non-accomplishment could well be "Much Adulation ABout Nothing". Sorry.

Suzan said...

Thanks, guys.

I guess I had to come here for the real news.

S

Case Wagenvoord said...

At least the lobbyists are happy.