Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Behold, the Idol

I'm told that I need to pay attention to the American election campaign because the actions of the president have a profound impact on Australian activity and foreign policy. To that end I have two things to say.

The first is to do with media coverage. Here in Australia it seems that Obama is getting a lot more press coverage than Clinton. Obama comes across as young and intelligent, whereas Clinton is portrayed as older, and part of an attempt for another Democrat dynasty. I've no idea what stage the Australian press has in the election outcome, except for Mr Murdoch, but that only affects his American readers and viewers. The bias is disappointing, but not really surprising.

The second is that this view (that the American election result affects Australia so very much) indicates that America is so powerful that we need to kowtow to it, thereby making America more powerful. The circularity of this is madness. An idol is something that is ascribed a property that it does not have (e.g., a lump of wood becomes an idol when a person says that it is a god). Behold, America the idol.

I wish that even in this globalised world, non-American countries could maintain cultural identity, but it feels that this is becoming an antiquated ambition.
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