Sunday, April 27, 2008

Letting The Cat Out Of The (Gas) Bag.

If there were such a thing, it might be part of a course entitled, "Shakespearean Psychology 101". I am thinking specifically about the famous quote uttered by Queen Gertrude in Hamlet, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." The meaning of that line is simply that repetitious statements by anyone professing something, especially if the utterances come unprompted, are probably not to be taken at face value. A more modern analogue to Shakespeare's insightful bit of iambic pentameter might be Bismarck's, "Never believe a rumor until it has been officially denied."

One of the great official protestations of late, repeated too often for comfort, is that the financial crisis that has swirled about us for the better part of a year is well and truly behind us. There aren't any reasons put forward as to why this should be so, save flimsy ones that can be dismissed by the insertion into the argument of just a few facts. However, if one wants to undermine the "all is well" talk using a different approach, there is no better one I know of than the bullshit detectors provided by Monsieur's Shakespeare and Bismarck. They would have recognized the many protestations by officialdom that the worst is behind us as essentially untrustworthy on the face. Not being as artful as Shakespeare, I can only offer sarcastic rejoinders to constant assertions that "The Crisis is Contained" such as, "Say it again and I'll make a box set CD", or, "So sorry, Mr. CEO of Citibank, I didn't hear you the first twenty seven times, could you repeat that." Words are a bit like bank credit, they must be deployed carefully, or they can have the opposite effect to the one intended, if you get my meaning.

No comments: