The other night, I finally got around to watching The September Issue on Netflix, a documentary about the making of the then-massive annual 2007 fall fashion preview issue of Vogue. For those unfamiliar with Vogue, it’s one of those first generation pre-Blogosphere e-zines delivered in low-res analog form via flimsy portable tablet computers made from the byproducts of dead trees. Yuck!
Seriously though, it’s a fascinating time capsule of a film, sort of the Titanic or Last Days of Pompeii of the publishing industry. And beyond the magazine itself, of a supremely competent Master of the Universe insular liberal worldview just before the lights went out on the world’s economy, and elites got what they wanted, good and hard, as Mencken would say, in the years that followed. (Update: More on this film at the Lifestyle blog.)
On November 30 the European Central Bank released what Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan is calling an “unintentionally hilarious” video, celebrating the coming tenth anniversary of the Euro currency.
Yes, that Euro — the one that’s falling apart.
On Tuesday the Eurozone’s member banks dipped into emergency reserve funds for the equivalent of $50 billion in bailout help. President Obama is reportedly taking frenetic calls from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is meeting behind closed doors with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in an effort to stave off disaster.
But never mind that the Greek stock market has tanked like the Cleveland Browns, and could bring the entire European economy down with it. Forget the projected S&P downgrade of those bailout funds. And pay no attention to the threatened Europe-wide “transactions tax” that will soon make everyone’s purchases of brioche, cannoli and weisswurst more — well, more taxing.
As Martosko writes, “In just a few months, those four countries’ old currencies — francs, lire, markka and drachmas — will officially become worthless. That is, unless the Euro beats them to it:”
Underneath the video on its YouTube page, uploaded by the European Central Bank, is the imprimatur that “Adding comments has been disabled for this video” along with the ability to click like or dislike to rate the clip, which sums up the anti-democratic mindset of the EU rather nicely.
As Mark Steyn wrote in After America, “‘Linger awhile, how fair thou art,’ in the words of Goethe’s Faust, which would make a fine epitaph for the European Union.” Particularly since reality has a nasty way of intruding on the splendid fantasies of the EU — “France Has Second Thoughts About the Euro,” Michel Gurfinkiel writes at PJM today. Concurrently, Mike McNally adds, “Euro Deal Leaves Britain in Splendid Isolation.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time that those who carried with them the notion of creating an unruly and unworkable hegemony of European nations have created a grandiose cinematic tribute to their own immortality — brilliantly timed to debut at the exact moment the iceberg hits.