On the drive in to work this morning, I caught a bit of the business news on NPR’s Morning Edition. The news was, I think, meant to be upbeat, about small businesses that were opening or expanding in defiance of the slow economy. Normally, I would cheer such news, but this report did nothing to lift my outlook.
It was the types of businesses profiled that dampened my cheer: a tanning salon, a wine bar, a cupcake store. Economic growth and prosperity is not going to happen on the basis of frivolities like these. The image that came to my mind was the scene from Peter Jackson’s Return of the King, wherein Denethor, the Steward of Gondor, feasts while his knights, led by his son Faramir, execute a doomed attack on Osgiliath.
We find ourselves engaged in a twilight struggle of civilizations, with our brave soldiers fighting and dying on foreign fields to secure a future worthy of our past and traditions. With our economy tottering weakly, we turn our attention to tans, wine, and cupcakes? Who the heck are we?