Face Plant

Is anyone besides me completely unsurprised that Facebook’s absurdly over-hyped IPO ended in predictable disaster?  As the investigations and lawsuits roll in, I think it’s useful to consider that everyone involved appears to be afflicted with Alzheimers.  Nostalgia for the heady days of HomeGrocer.com and the latest (now defunct) telecom continues to addle the minds of the American media, two busts later.  Indeed, it is this denial of observable reality that makes watching the news something akin to watching a horror movie; the audience sees the danger the characters on screen are too clueless to grasp, and many are already covering their eyes by the time the whole thing blows.

The doe-eyed innocence of so-called business reporters marveling, for the umpteenth time, that yet another “company” that doesn’t, well, do anything is about to make a few people (and their bankers) obscenely wealthy overnight, as though such a thing were new, or news.  Most times it happens, of course, a whole lot of other people lose a whole lot of money, the business model collapses, and everyone who touted it looks like a fool, or would, if only they could remember it.  Like other Alzheimers patients, they don’t just have trouble recalling events, but they keep getting people mixed up, too.  That’s the only possible explanation for the fact that never was heard a discouraging word about the infamous banksters involved:  JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs.  What could possibly go wrong?

It’s insulting, really.  And though this story is about business, the scourge of memory loss extends across all aspects of media. The same people who fell for Enron, Worldcom, the first tech bubble, the real estate boom, and Donald Trump (repeatedly) also fell for WMD, Mission Accomplished, James O’Keefe and Andrew Breitbart (also repeatedly).  They say watching TV is bad for the already memory-impaired, but watching it seems much less detrimental than being on it.   Stare at that red light too long, and pretty soon someone will have to escort you to the bathroom.

It was eerie, and depressing, to see the obvious yet seemingly unnoticed parallels with previous media face plants.  The utter absence of skepticism, the endless coverage of the hoopla without any meaningful discussion of the underlying facts, and transparently insincere political posturing by the usual suspects: a toddler could see how this movie was going to end.

But on TV, every movie ends the same way, with a mournful rendition of Condi Rice’s 2002 hit, “No One Could Have Predicted.”  And, I suppose, no one could.  If they had Alzheimers, anyway.

4 Comments

  1. dirigo says:

    As the bank dick said, several posts back: ” … you can buy ‘em for a handful of hay.”

  2. cocktailhag says:

    And they stay bought, too.

  3. mikeinportc says:

    You win some ,you lose some. *shrug* Double or nothing on Pinterest, anybody? ;)