Part of the tragedy of the Titanic was the sense of disbelief that such a vast ship could sink. Here in this clip all seems OK - but Andrews has inspected the ship and tells Captain Smith that she will sink. It's inevitable, the damage though imperceptible when it occurred is to great.
This clip from A Night to Remember is all about disbelief - how could there be a problem this bad? As I watched it, I kept thinking about how easy it is to think that we are all right really. How could this ship sink?
But if you really looked you could see that Andrews was right - the signs are all in front of us. Talking about "signs', I was struck today by 3 separate items in the New York Times - all point to vast damage to the Ship of State that is America that show damage where there is no remedy.
The jobs are not coming back - This is not normal recession but is structural but we daren't say that - It is not just manufacturing but "safe" government jobs.
The public sector pensions are not funded and cannot be funded and so will not pay out without imposing taxes on those that don't have any pensions - this will not happen! So as America ages, the money to pay for millions of older folks will not be there.
State government are broke and cannot get the taxes need to pay for essentials such as school, roads and safety - the entire social compact between the governed who pay taxes to get services is breaking down as it did at the end of Rome.
Andrews tells the Captain that with 4 watertight sectors full the ship could float but with 5 it had to sink.
I have just chosen 3 articles in one edition. You could add - The end of Cheap Oil - the end of Cheap Factory Food - The endless war and vast related costs - the infrastructure deficit - the financial deficit - the balance sheet of many Americans.
So where are we?
Here as a final addition from today's NYT is Bob Herbert:
"But instead of exercising the appropriate mental muscles, we’re allowing ourselves to become a nation of nitwits, obsessed with the comings and goings of Lindsay Lohan and increasingly oblivious to crucially important societal issues that are all but screaming for attention. What should we be doing about the legions of jobless Americans, the deteriorating public schools, the debilitating wars, the scandalous economic inequality, the corporate hold on governmental affairs, the commercialization of the arts, the deficits?
Why is there not serious and widespread public engagement with these issues — and many others that could easily come to mind? That kind of engagement would lead to creative new ideas and would serve to enrich the lives of individual Americans and the nation as a whole. But it would require a heavy social and intellectual lift.
We no longer know how to put our people to work. We read less and less and write like barbarians. We’ve increasingly turned our backs on the very idea of hard-won excellence while flinging open the doors to decadence and decline. No wonder Lady Gaga and Snooki from “Jersey Shore” are cultural heroes."
Update - Glenn Greenwald had the same sense of dread when he read the Times today - here is what he added: