Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Aughts: Awash in Scams

As the last 10 years has been an era in which fake has too frequently been admired as better than real, it's also been a decade awash in scams.

Isn't that a fair way to characterize the aughts? After all, the decade began with the Y2K hoax that had people believing the computer world was going seize up. So-called "reality TV," a totally contrived genre of entertainment, has dominated television ratings. Over the last ten years who hasn't received a ton of emails crying for help in getting money out of Nigeria? Or, about winning lotteries they never entered?

Remember the hunt for weapons of mass destruction that launched the war in Iraq? Remember Enron? Remember the federal government's phony investigation of the anthrax-in-the-mail crimes? Remember Sen. Larry Craig's wide stance? Remember former-Sen. John Edwards' pious talk about Two America's? Remember the sworn juicing denials of bloated baseball stars, such as Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemons?

What about the lineup of greedy chumps who believed in the investments wizardry of Bernie Madoff? And, to cap it off, what did it take for everyone to have believed in pitchman Tiger Woods' flawless image?

What was in the Kool-Aid one had to swallow to have been shocked when it came out that yet another ridiculously wealthy pro athlete had been a randy dog with cocktail waitresses he met on the road?

Frank Rich writes entertainingly on this topic in his OpEd piece "Tiger Woods, Person of the Year."
If there’s been a consistent narrative to this year and every other in this decade, it’s that most of us, Bernanke included, have been so easily bamboozled. The men who played us for suckers, whether at Citigroup or Fannie Mae, at the White House or Ted Haggard’s megachurch, are the real movers and shakers of this century’s history so far. That’s why the obvious person of the year is Tiger Woods. His sham beatific image, questioned by almost no one until it collapsed, is nothing if not the farcical reductio ad absurdum of the decade’s flimflams, from the cancerous (the subprime mortgage) to the inane (balloon boy).
Click here to read it.

Perhaps the only thing left to say is, "Bah! Humbug!

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