Adam Curtis has posted straight from the BBC archives a film made by American Joseph Strick in 1966. It's essentially a montage of political rallies and meetings during that year's election and focuses on the people who heckle the buggers on stage.
Curtis is curious to find out if people still heckle and if they don't, why?
Is it that they have come to see their politicians as creatures who no longer have any ideas or vision, and who have absolutely no idea or understanding of what is happening in the world, so there is no point in heckling them any longer?
Or is it that we, the people, have no ideas and no understanding of the world ourselves? That we have no vision any longer of what the world could be like, or what changes we would like made - so we have nothing to say? And thus nothing to heckle about.
Although he doesn't write as such, I suspect he thinks heckling is no more; its absence indicative of how people seem to have shut themselves off from political engagement.
I think he's being wistful and nostalgic; not everything is the fault of individualism. The film, however, is a cracker.
I would say with stuff like this out there diplomats and officials can no longer bullshit each other, but I've yet to be left unsurprised about the levels of self-delusion us meat-bags can reach.
I also wonder if we can squeeze thirty years of alternative fuel research into the next two years? Hey, it's gonna be awesome finding out!
Michael Lewis investigates Ireland's economic disaster. The stupid title aside, some of this will make your mouth gape.
An Irish economist named Morgan Kelly, whose estimates of Irish bank losses have been the most prescient, made a back-of-the-envelope calculation that puts the losses of all Irish banks at roughly 106 billion euros. (Think $10 trillion.) At the rate money currently flows into the Irish treasury, Irish bank losses alone would absorb every penny of Irish taxes for at least the next three years.
Fortunately the end of all life is near.