In our system of government, private enterprise has traditionally created the stars and icons of our culture. We like our stars rich and sexy--the opposite of government issue.
But in this depression, with riches drying up and the government exerting control over private enterprise, the whole icon standard is beginning to come under revision.
Michelle Obama is the national star, government issue. Young and black to the queen's old and white, Michelle and the queen were nevertheless ideally matched in their studied ordinariness. It was all quaintly, reassuringly, hellzapoppin' cheesy. Mrs. O touched the Queen. She gave her the damn iPod. Jamie Oliver cooked for everyone. Mrs. O kicked Sarah Brown's butt in the wardrobe department. Carla Bruni didn't turn up because she couldn't compete with Michelle.
And, about all this, everybody went crazy.