Peter Bart, that wise old owl who sits atop Variety, nails it this week when he leads off his column with this resonating world view:
"Clearly we are not witnessing a ‘normal’ recession. This downturn is global and gut-wrenching. It’s as though the bountiful 1920s have just collapsed and we’ve all been plunged yet again into the grim ’30s. That upheaval took a decade to unravel. Also a world war.
The emotional response to the present economic debacle varies by generation. The 20 and 30-year-olds tend to be in total denial. They’ve never gone through anything like this and can’t believe it’s happening.
The baby boomers are in disbelief for another reason: Most smugly believed that governments were too smart and that the science of economics was too sophisticated to permit a disaster like this. Globalism would save us: The Arabs and Chinese would prove resilient: The Russians would kick in their energy billions.
Now all of us are standing at the abyss asking: Whatever happened to the survival instincts of the CEOs? Why do the gurus of fiscal and monetary policy suddenly look shell-shocked?
The kids still believe that somehow, somewhere, Big Daddy will save us. He will – if anyone can find him."