Saturday, March 21, 2009

Post-Dramatic Stress Syndrome

A good eFriend of mine told me recently her favorite real-life malapropism of all time: a friend of hers claimed to have "post-dramatic stress syndrome."

I am pretty sure that I suffer from this malady. I don't think I'm a full-fledged drama queen, but I have on occasion been a drama princess. Now that I'm older, perhaps a Drama Duchess.

On the other hand, you can find plenty of evidence that over-the-top drama plays a large role in our lives, and you don't have to look very hard for it either.

Take the latest wrinkle in the meta-infuriating AIG scandal: AIG executives in fear of their lives! Apparently there have been death threats, and, even worse, a planned protest involving unemployed people bussed in to an exclusive Connecticut neighborhood to "share their stories" of job loss and economic devastation with the beleaguered AIG execs. Which I guess means standing on the street by the lawns in front of their homes and talking to a TV camera, god willing.
"It's scary," one executive said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he feared retribution. "People are very, very nervous for their security."
You know, I realize that AIG has become a symbol, easy shorthand for everything that's gone wrong in our economy in the last, oh, twenty, thirty years. I know that in real life, things are more complicated, more nuanced, that we're all (or most of us) culpable, and how lovely that two of the execs have volunteered to return their bonuses, and, look, one of them contributes to a homeless shelter!

Still, at the moment, all I can think of is Livia Soprano's line: "Oh, poor you!"

To quote Gawker:
Anyway, the Times' story has precisely one secondhand report of a death threat, one angry neighbor in a driveway and a couple of pissed off Connecticut residents. None of the various Connecticut police departments contacted by the newspaper has heard anything about any sort of danger to these rich guys.

But still, let's feel anxious and a little ashamed of ourselves, on behalf of these wealthy executives. All that stands between them and terrible, fearsome populist mobs are their private security guards, their lawns, their state-of-the-art security systems, several flights of probably marble stairs and the entrenched political/law-enforcement establishment they bought over the past couple of decades, when the gettin' was good.

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