08 January 2008

Get a good job with good pay and you're okay

In a major policy speech today Nicolas Sarkozy signaled his desire to end the French 35-hour working week, telling his countrymen to be more productive and work harder. Listening to the translation of his speech on BBC World a few minutes ago I'm pretty sure he actually said "Work is what gives each of us our place in society...work liberates us", which is far too close to 'Arbeit macht frei' for comfort. While I'm not accusing Sarkozy of fascistic tendencies, he certainly can be accused of strong neo-liberal tendencies.

The depressing thing for me is not the fact that a neocon leader pushes business and cuts back on social safety nets, it's the fact that if you do a quick search for 'Sarkozy' today, or scan the main online news-sources, you'll see precious little on his economics speech and gigabites of dross on his relationship with a former model.

There also appears to be some sort of vote going on in New Hampshire tonight, but on CNN the main focus of the story is not on the record voter turn-out, but on whether or not Hilary's tearful performance yesterday was genuine or not, and how this shows a more human side of her (or not). It infuriates me that across all polls and states the number one trait that voters are looking for in a candidate is not whether they can do the job or not, but rather do they share the same values as them. Given that more people voted in last year's telethon episode of American Idol (135 Million) than in the last presidential election (121 Million), the average American values tuneless talentless trailer-park fluff, so I look forward to hearing the candidates new initiative to give US Americans more maps and education like such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like...

I'm angry not because the media plays a constant game of misdirection, focusing on trivia and playing on the emotional weaknesses of their audience to prevent anyone from caring enough about the real issues to ask questions, it's the fact that society not only willing lets it happen but actively seeks it out.

I've got to stop watching cable news, I'm not rock n'roll enough to get away with throwing the television out of my hotel window.


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