Some Observations

  • Yesterday’s Daily News included a full-page ad from Macy’s, indicating that their one-day sale on Saturday would be extended to a second day on Sunday because of the ‘inclement weather.’  It snowed about two inches in the city over yesterday afternoon and evening, with probably more in the suburbs: not really what qualifies as ‘inclement.’  Considering the lead time in setting up a full-page newspaper ad, I have to believe that Macy’s was going to extend their one-day sale (which was a two-day sale to begin with, as it started Friday) to Sunday from the beginning, and was just betting that since it’s January, it must be snowing somewhere.
  • Our New Fearless Leader released a report claiming that his recovery plan would create between three and four million new jobs.  Unfortunately, there’s no clear description as to just what this plan would consist of.  The same report includes a graphic indicating that the unemployment rate would top out at about 8% with the recovery plan in place, but 9.5% without it.  I’ll agree that a 9.5% unemployment rate is not good, but it’s hardly the end of the world, as everyone seems to make it out to be.
  • I was watching the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie The Running Man yesterday evening.  The movie is set in about 2020, in a US where, due to ‘the economic collapse of 2017,’ many Americans don’t have a pot to piss in.  Arnold is an honorable Army officer who disobeys an order, is jailed, and eventually can earn his freedom if he participates in The Running Man TV show.  Besides showing Arnold breaking things and killing people, the movie is a commentary on government and the media.  In 2020, the two have converged, and they’re both flaming liars. The really distressing part (sorry for the long setup) is that we’re now two-thirds of the way from 1987 to 2020, and television is very definitely two-thirds of the way from what it was in 1987 to the world of The Running Man.  The concept of gladiatorial combat on TV was radical in 1987; it’s a much smaller step from the state of TV today.  And there was an appetite for the details of politics back then, while today the public would rather do something–anything–than try to understand the real aspects and practical details of politics.

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