Notes on the Zona 1

LI, as we hope we have made clear, has been disgusted with Nader and the Green party for years. Yet, in 2000, we voted for Nader, under the delusion that the Green party was something more than a vanity movement that existed to keep Nader’s name in the papers. But we’ve never regretted that vote. We regretted that Gore ran a suck campaign and then, insanely, didn’t contest all Florida precincts immediately, demanding a recount.

Well, ho ho ho, it turns out that all the things Nader and the anti-corporation crowd were railing at – the failure to regulate the derivatives market, the failure to reign in corporate abuses, the use of lobbyists to stifle regulatory agencies that were warning about things like the abuse of accounting rules –well, they were all correct. It is like the 100 percent correct record. That’s nice. Meanwhile, the bipartisan oohing and ahhing over Maestro Greenspan has now started to settle in the national stomach a little badly, like a cannibal stew. Such, of course is the zona.

Read the WAPO account of the attempt by Brooksley E. Born to stop the oncoming train wreck.

"The meeting of the President's Working Group on Financial Markets on an April day in 1998 brought together Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt Jr. -- all Wall Street legends, all opponents to varying degrees of tighter regulation of the financial system that had earned them wealth and power.

Their adversary, although also a member of the Working Group, did not belong to their club. Brooksley E. Born, the 57-year-old head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, had earned a reputation as a steely, formidable litigator at a high-powered Washington law firm. She had grown used to being the only woman in a room full of men. She didn't like to be pushed around.

Now, in the Treasury Department's stately, wood-paneled conference room, she was being pushed hard."

Remember the days of yore, when economics would be pulled out of politics, and the private sector would chug along and do all the good things for the good little boys and girls? Sure you do. Uncle Thomas Friedman wrote a book about it. LI, in a prescient little review for the Austin Chronicle, reviewed said book.


abb1 said…
Roger, does your calling it 'Zone' have anything to do with this?
P.M.Lawrence said…
"...the failure to reign in corporate abuses"?
P.M.Lawrence said…
And (from that linked review), "Golden Straightjacket".
roger said…
Abb1, no, although I love stalker. "Zona" is the name the Fore of New Guinea give to the "ghost wind" which causes humans to become delusional about cargo. They begin gathering leaves and twigs and storing them in their huts, thinking that they are going to magically turn into knives and other metal implements.

Ah, Mr. Lawrence, what would I do without you!
Praxis said…
That's an awesomely sarcastic article, Roger. Sometimes, reading Marx, I fear the art of righteous sarcasm has declined. Glad to see you holding up your end.
roger said…
Mr. Praxis, I honed the art of bein', as my brother likes to put it, sour-castic when I was three, and I have been trying to repress it ever since! However, a cursory reading of the ideologues that trumpeted and drummed us into our present cul de sac would turn even St. Francis into Lenny Bruce.
Anonymous said…
LI, ah, I haven't been able to keep up with your posts, and while trying to catch up can I just say that the Nemesis posts - Herder and the Matthew Gumpert references, etc. - are quite amazing. I'm not going to comment on them right away as I would likely go off on tangents going where I do not know.
Your posts also have me thinking of financial crises and fairly tales.
And of music - facing the music. Well, this isn't Patti Smith or Rimbaud but I sort of like the "wish"

roger said…
Amie, I just got my computer back from the store and saw your comment. Oh, I have some more stuff on nemesis, which - the meaneyed aspect - has been following me around this week, majorly. My own private zona.
Anonymous said…
LI, yes there is a pettiness and a meanness to the Zona isn't there, which has everything to do with what you call the question of "human" limits. And yet, there is more than one way to traverse the Zona and encounter the limit(s). One doesn't just write about the wind, it is the wind that writes, as Bataille writes. Strange to say, it has me thinking of your posts re Theophile and the matter of "être digne de ce que nous arrive".
There is a little text I would like to share with you and whoever else can consent to read.

Dialectique Non Prophétie

Deux jambes qui se promènent dans un jardin sont une calmatié pour une infinité d'hôtes miniscules du terreau: une suite de catastrophes comme l'on imagine que fut pour les hommes le Moyen Age.
Mais bientôt, lorsque meurt le propriétaire de ces bottes, son corps, dévolu à la même petite sorte d'animaux, leur devient une pâture, une colonie pour plusieurs générations, un Eldorado.
Ainsi l'on peut imaginer que la chose, qui, au Moyen Age, passant invisiblement sur l'Europe, y causa tant de malheurs, est allée mourir un peu plu loin – où Christophe Colomb découvrit bientôt son grand corps allongé, nommé depuis l'Amérique.
Cette fable signifie le droit pour les hommes à l'espoir de choses absolument inouïes. Les vers auraient-ils raison de rire parce qu'on leur prédirait à venir quelque nouvelle charogne?

Francis Ponge, 1930

roger said…
Amie, what a splendid Ponge poem! Which, somehow, seems more Michaux like than Ponge like. There are so many twists in that brief "fable", and all are certainly applicable to the zona!