spiritual perspective on tv

The Way We Live Now

CREDIT BBC and PBS with good timing. Masterpiece Theater's recent miniseries The Way We Live Now, based on an 1875 Anthony Trollope novel, has had many viewers fast-forwarding to more recent examples of greed, deception, and betrayal.

The story's "great Mexican railway venture" walks and talks like Enron's creative accounting schemes. Trollope's dark-force character, Augustus Melmotte, today might be a collapsed dotcom adventurer or a rogue or Ponzi schemer (if he or she could muster the bravado and intrigue of a Melmotte). And there's that new-old equation—money+politics=power. During his campaign for Parliament, Melmotte tells the electors of Westminster, "You need a man who understands the way we live now. . . . public confidence is the essence in these things." "These things" being empty promises of quick, work-free wealth.

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---- 100 years ago
April 29, 2002
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