I just returned from a visit to the US, where the lack of media coverage of the eurozone crisis suprised me. I'm not sure if it was the holidays, with all the tryptophan-induced comas, or the Black Friday madness, but no one in the US is talking about what's sure to be the biggest blow to the global economy since Lehman Brothers collapsed.
While here in the UK the euro crisis is all anyone is talking about (well, anyone on Radio 4), there's hardly any awareness of the coming disaster in the US.
On the other hand, they have their own madness to worry about. Sure, the US economy is showing signs of improvement, with unemployment creeping down and GDP inching up, and Black Friday (so-called because the day after Thanksgiving is when retail stores traditionally go "into the black" on their balance sheets) producing record sales (up 9% over last year). Yet Black Friday was also accompanied by evidence Americans have gone mad: one customer at Wal-Mart pulled out a can of pepper spray and doused fellow shoppers in order to make off with bargain X-boxes.
Meanwhile, other superstores found themselves awash in yellow crime tape rather than red Christmas bows after Black Friday shootings occurred in their parking lots.
Considering American broadcast media isn't keen to produce quality, informative news programs even during the best of times, it's no surprise the mere mention of "pepper spray" and "Wal-Mart" managed to knock out any mention of the approaching Euro-Armageddon. Not even Nancy Grace wavered from her fixation on Natalie Wood to mention what is surely a bigger crime, as political leaders in Europe continue to refuse to fix the mess they made.
So America sleeps in its turkey-fueled haze, while the disgruntled pack armaments in their handbags as they hunt for loss-leadered merchandise. I tried to warn a few ancient relatives about what was coming, as the euro crisis nears a final denouement, but all I got were yawns.
America does not feel your pain, Europe. But you'll feel theirs—if you get anywhere near that X-box.