Vikings Stadium Collapse Video: Metaphor for the American Economy
What do the Minnesota Vikings and Bernie Sanders have in common?
This weekend the roof of the Minnesota dome collapsed, dumping snow and entropy all over America’s pastime. (Let’s face it, baseball hasn’t been America’s pastime since the early ’80s when video games truncated our attention spans for good.)
Watching Bernie Sanders’ filibuster speech last Friday, I couldn’t avoid the sinking feeling that perhaps America’s struggle to bounce back from the worst recession since the Great Depression was about more than the auto-pilot momentum of boom-bust economic cycles. I couldn’t shake the feeling that perhaps this time it was different—that we’d financed a century of unprecedented wealth based on an artifice of credit, and that finally it was time to pay the piper. I couldn’t help wondering whether this time, unlike the Savings and Loan crisis in our parents generation, this crisis wouldn’t be just a bump on the way up, but a re-routing of our entire economic trajectory.
Watching the video of the stadium collapse, I couldn’t help noticing the symbolic poignancy of the image. Just as Bernie Sanders gave his epic nine-hour speech denouncing Obama’s tax deal with Republicans that undercuts middle-class America, the football stadium, that cathedral of middle class American life, collapses.
Perhaps American tenacity will find our way out of this one and will continue our upward trajectory—perhaps Obama will break out some crazy in the next 2 years of his term and will turn into the FDR we need him to be. But if you can watch this video without feeling it ominously foretells the collapse of modern-day Rome, you’re braver than I.