Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Upside of Evil?

"Don't be so gloomy. After all, it's not that awful.

"You know what the fellow says—in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

"So long, Holly."

— The Third Man 1

Let's see. We have just come off a decade or two of greed, arrogance, and unbridled hubris which has landed us on the doorstep of systemic financial collapse. We have nearly bankrupted global capitalism by borrowing against our future income (and the income of our children and grandchildren) in order to build a culture based on instant gratification and crass commercialism.

But look on the bright side. Our modern-day Borgias have produced Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, and ... Flavor of Love.

Maybe we should have settled for cuckoo clocks.

1 Hold onto your Rääbeliechtli, Swissies: "In This is Orson Welles (1993), Welles is quoted as saying 'When the picture came out, the Swiss very nicely pointed out to me that they've never made any cuckoo clocks.'" Confidential, numbered bank accounts, perhaps?

© 2009 The Epicurean Dealmaker. All rights reserved.