You are imploding. You are imploding so powerfully, so utterly, so comprehensively, that the ever-hungry vortex of your doom is like a star gone nova. Last night, I dreamed that John McCain and Barrack Obama could both fly like Superman, debating each other as they pirouetted and bounced off the skyscrapers of New York, only to look down and notice, all-too-belatedly, that the ground was collapsing beneath the city, giant sinkholes opening up as chunks of pavement crumbled into them, yawning into great black depths of nothing. I don’t mind saying, I woke up with a feeling of dread like I should apply for a Goddam prophecy permit, but then again, realising the obvious hardly makes me Miss Cleo. You are hurting, America, hurting bad, and like a dog with a broken leg, you’re lashing out with crazed, unbalanced mania.
First: that $700 billion bailout? In the immortal words of William Butler Yeats, “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.” Put another way, without land in sight, there is only so much distance you can sail a sinking ship before even bailing becomes ineffectual. What you need are structural repairs, while the best you can currently do is limp for land faster, the better to haul out, turn the whole thing belly-up and work some serious shipwrighting mojo. And hey, Wall Street? I’ve got a reality check (not cheque) for you. It’s a major election year. You’ve screwed things up. You’ve screwed up royally. Maybe in the past you could take a golden handshake and walk away smelling of Midas roses, but right here, now, there’s two would-be presidents locking horns like a couple of twelve-tine harts in rutt, and you, my friends, are the fat ole’ tree they’re going to shine their ivories on. Good luck with that.
That’s another thing: the election. Way back in Season 2, remember that episode of The Simpsons where Bart and Martin ran against each other for class president? Bart dominated the campagin, won all the popular support and even held a preemptory victory party under the slide, while Martin ended up a sweating, shivering, nervous wreck. But Martin won: because only Martin and one other person remembered to vote. And America, let me speak frankly: if you vote McCain and Palin in through apathy and fear, the rest of the world will not forgive it lightly. You have laughed – or rather, certain of your media has laughed – at Obama’s popularity overseas while simultaneously scorning his lack of foreign policy experience. The fact that this isn’t touted as an obvious contradiction should set off alarm bells, because we – the people who, in future, will need to be most impressed by the President’s l337 n3g0ti47ing s|<i11z – are impressed already. Contrast to Sarah Palin, a woman I wouldn’t trust to run a primary school fete, who still thinks the proximity of Alaska to Russia equals foreign policy experience.
Your own media has already kept you well abreast of troubles in the McCain camp, and the economic dangers they’re so willing to hide behind in order to avoid debating anything that hasn’t stopped in the interim. If your eyes are half open, you know the score, even if the sacrosanct Laws of Armchair Sport forbid you to ask who’s playing or what game it is; and if your eyes are wilfully closed, there’s little I can do but weep with mine.
But oh, America, if you stumble now, then Yeats was right: mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.