Over at Ace of Spades on Thursday, someone posted this in a comment: "John Wayne is dead, and Vampires are sparkly."
This struck me, profoundly, as an excellent metaphor for America's current plight. If John Wayne stood for self-determination, and hard work, and independence, and gumption: well, John Wayne is dead. It seems, all too often, so are those virtues. On the other hand, Vampires have always been a metaphor for those who feed off the lives of others. They take what isn't theirs, and they're nigh impossible to defeat. Once upon a time, Vampires were scary. Even when they were physically attractive, they simply oozed evil. From the horrific appearance of 'Nosferatu' to the debonair style of the Vampire Lestat, you never, for even one moment, forgot that they were evil. But now they're sexy. People lionize them. They want to be them.
Well the same is true in real life. Once upon a time, hard work, and self-determination were the norm. They were harolded as virtues. People who built themselves up from nothing were lionized. Those who had succeeded in business were looked-up to. If they weren't worshiped as heroes, they were accepted as examples. Not so anymore. People who create more wealth in a week than most Americans do in a year are scolded for "making too much money." Successful business executives are decried for their "greed." Those who want government to leave them alone so they can determine their own fate are labeled "radical." They are viewed with suspicion.
Indeed. The virtues John Wayne represented are dying- if they're not already dead.
On the other hand, the leaches abound. From corrupt politicians (BIRM), and their cronies in business (not the same as actually successful executives), to the Occupy crowd, to "welfare queens," they all suck the life from us and our economy. They create little or nothing of value, and they consume far more than they create. There was a time this was looked at with disgust, disdain, or pity (depending on circumstances). Now, it's simply expected. The TEA Parties showed polite, but firm, disagreement with the over-spending and resultant high taxation coming from various levels of government- and they were labeled as extremists, when they weren't being labeled with sexual epithets. The Occupy "movement" has no more coherent message than "pay for my stuff," and they're heralded as paragons of virtue.
John Wayne is dead. And Vampires are sparkly.
Now. Where's my stake and mallet?