08/07/2011

The Silly Season and News Cycles

"Summertime and the livin' is easy," that great song from the musical Porgy and Bess tells us. Indeed, many people who have jobs have the double luxury of having a paid vacation during the summer. For them, it is a time to disconnect from the daily grind, to pursue one's favorite hobbies, to somehow "get away" from it all.

But, life does go on for those less fortunate, and certain problems will not go away as we pack our bathing suits for the beaches. Friends coming back from a holiday in Greece tell of the dissonance between the normal tourist activity and the tensions and anxieties of the local population, not to speak of the "inconveniences" of strikes. Unemployment, debt problems will not be solved on the beaches of Crete, Ibiza or Lisbon.

News cycles continue. Papers have to be sold; television, internet news continue to function. What to report if most policy makers have gone on vacation? The DSK trial in the US and now France is going strong. But, the sensational news about the victim has overshadowed serious discussion about what actually happened in the hotel suite and the behind-the-scenes behavior of DSK. The initial victim has become the principle target of questioning and now another type of victim, and the supposed victim of the US judicial system has become a hero. Neither are victims and neither are heroes, and I am still dubious about DSK. Sorry, the recent revelations have not changed my opinion.

As the summer news cycles search for ways to call our attention away from the tennis courts and swimming pools, the mounting pressure on the international community to recognize a Palestinian state is growing - the fall meeting of the UN General Assembly is approaching. Israel is rumored to be preparing a surgical strike on Iran with US approval. And the discussions in the United States about the debt ceiling continue to remain puerile and belie the seriousness of the problem and the future of the country.

 

Summertime and the livin' is easy, for some.

 

July 7, 2011

 

 

 

 

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