Hawking Up Hairballs

Monday, December 08, 2008


Last night I watched the new TNT show, Leverage. It's the usual mindless fluff. The show's protagonists are "good thieves" who only steal from those who deserve it. In last night's episode, they were approached by an aircraft industry executive who wanted them to steal back some plans that a competitor had stolen from his company. The theft was duly accomplished, only to have the "good thieves" discover that they'd been used. They hadn't stolen back the plans; they had simply stolen them. Of course, vengeance was in order, and vengeance was served.

I won't critique the show. It really doesn't merit such attention, and the only reason I've mentioned it at all is because of the preview of the next episode. It showed a distraught couple, obviously working class, who were telling the head of the "good thieves" about how they'd been screwed over by some big corporation. They'd sought justice in the courts, but had been thwarted by the corporation's expensive lawyers. I was sitting there and it occurred to me that, given the current crisis in the economy, we are going to be seeing a lot of these Robin Hood type shows in the coming few years. I'm guessing they will become the next big thing.

Now, of course, since it is big corporations who finance these productions, you can count on one thing. They will never suggest a blanket condemnation of the current economic system, what we called the Establishment back in the day. The nasty business will be portrayed as the result of the machinations of a few bad actors in some otherwise blameless company, or perhaps the company itself will be portrayed as an anomalous bad apple in an otherwise laudable system. Another thing you can count on. The little people will never rise up and organize to press their concerns. If the movies and TV are to be believed, they are incapable of that. Some hero has to come along, either to do it for them, or to kick their butts to get them into motion. The lesson that one is supposed to learn there is that some people are just better than others, which means, of course, that a class system is in the natural order of things. And you know what? It just may be. I used to think differently but, in my cynical old age, I'm no longer so certain.


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