I’m jealous. So jealous I’m too ashamed to write out all my a’s. Who needs a’s anyway when you’re feeling a straight b? Flat, no capitals. Jealous of Gass, jealous of not letting the bile get out. I self-labeled myself the eternal cultural optimist and one must live up to one’s label nowadays or find no place in society’s shelves; shelf or be shelved, although that sounds better than it means. Such is the story of my life that I have self-censored what probably is my only real aptitude in it: a mild inclination to sarcasm, well-founded in an all-out hatred for ‘the way things are’. I am a self-made man in being the bottle for my own bile – only releasing some of its steam at moments of social stress such as dinner parties or occasions where I’m forced to listen (to dumb people, I wanted to add but one only ever listens to dumb people because only dumb people have a tendency to speak on public occasions).
So, as a matter of self-preservation, I need to find a way to reconcile both bile and optimism, so as to avoid bliss-less eternity too. Here goes the argument. Its form is to neutralize -1 and +1 to leave just N.
For various reasons, I’ve been reviewing the business press this morning. I have found frequent claims that investors are selling at “near-panic levels.” It leads me to ask: what would an actual panic look like compared to this? (One is reminded of the frequent description of Bush administration-ordered torture as “interrogation methods tantamount to torture.” Again: what would real torture look like?)
At least for the time being we’re seeing fewer subordinate clauses along the lines of “stoking fears that the US may be headed toward a recession.” The replacement, of course, is not directly asserting that we’re in recession, but a resounding silence. As the man says: “Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.”