Sunday, June 22, 2008

Spengler; Asia Times; Kung Fu Panda; the end of slacker culture

"Spengler's" column in Asia Times should be regular required reading for all of you. This week, Spengler writes of the slacker culture in America end predicts said culture's demise. He ties in everything from the Kung Fu Panda movie to current trends in unemployment and the banking collapse:
Two events on June 6 might denote the death of the "slacker" as an American cultural archetype. . . .

America might be the first country in recorded history whose culture celebrates not only indolence but also the sheer absence of ability. Byronic loafing is the birthright of genius, but slacking has become the entitlement of every young American.

Kung Fu Panda - symbol of a dying culture?

It is hard to think of a comparable case in social history: a country borrows from foreigners to lend money to its young people to spend four years binge-drinking at a university that pretends to prepare them for the world.

So-called home equity loans, or second mortgages on homes, are the cause of the crash of US bank stock prices during the past few weeks. The well is dry. That leaves the youngsters in the lurch, which is precisely where most of them deserve to be.

A profound sense of panic appears to have gripped American youth, which might explain why so many of them are seeking a messiah in Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barak Obama. But there isn't much that Obama or anyone else, for that matter, can do to help the slackers.

While Spengler's outlook is grim, I would be relieved if the only consequences for the western world are those outlined in Spengler's article. Read it all.

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