Brooke and I went to see An Inconvenient Truth tonight, which was fantastic. The horrible thing was sitting through three car commercials before the screening. I’ve been starting to count the number of commercials that are for cars and I’d say, according to my unscientific guess, that one out of every three commercials I see these days are for automobiles or things that support the automobile industry. We are truly addicted to these things. I don’t mean to sound high and mighty. Though we don’t own a car, we borrowed my dad’s gas-guzzling SUV to drive up to see Brooke’s parents this weekend. But the car culture is so pervasive, we don’t even notice it anymore, and I think that’s dangerous.
Absolutely the most cringeworthy thing that’s ever been on television. C-Span, even! For the record, I thought he was incredibly brave to stand there even when the audience was clearly not enjoying it. Salon has a great article about the whole debacle.
CNN has published the results of a new poll showing President George W. Bush’s approval rating at 38% and the number of people who actively disapprove of his leadership is at 60%.
The most interesting part of the poll is the downloadable PDF which tracks his ratings all the way back to February 2001. Did you know that the week before 9/11, his approval rating was at a lukewarm 51% and the week after it jumped to 86%? Thousands dead and it gave him a 35% shot in the arm. You wonder if he’s become addicted to crises to help dig himself out of his lacklustre performance.
Harper’s is going from strength to strength recently, taking on the Iraq war with ferocity and honesty. Here are the last two paragraphs of an article about torture entitled “What We’ve Lost” by William Pfaff that appears in the November 2005 issue:
International illegality, the deliberate repudiation of international law, and torture, gratuitously employed in defiance of the moral intuitions of ordinary people, all show that the Bush Administration has chosen to place itself outside the moral community of modern Western democratic civilization. This is not an unwarranted or outrageous judgment; it logically follows from the evidence. It seems a strange choice to have been made by an American government that more than any other in history identifies itself with righteousness and with Christianity.
In that respect, if one is to invoke religious judgments, I would cite AndrÃ© Malraux’s remarks to the novelist Georges Bernanos, who had returned to France from wartime exile and asked what judgment Malraux made on Europe in 1945. Malraux replied, “With the camps, Satan has visibly reappeared over the world.”
Why aren’t the mainstream media talking this way?