Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic

There’s a scene in Charlie Kaufman’s “Synecdoche” in which a despondent Philip Seymour Hoffman asks his wife (Catherine Keener): “Have I disappointed you, somehow?”

Keener responds flatly and unsympathetically: “Everyone is disappointed the more you know someone.”

I reluctantly reached that same point with Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson yesterday afternoon, as he wrapped up a speech about the economy with this waterlogged, seafaring bromide:

“In this increasingly inter-connected and inter-dependent global economy we are all in the same boat. We must work together to first plug the leak, bail, and row together to reach the shore. Then we must work as a team to overhaul and refit the boat so we can handle the rough seas that will undoubtedly test us in the future.”

Pick your metaphor: 1) It’s time to throw this guy overboard; 2) When am I going to get my life preserver; 3) Hey, I’ll plug your boat, buddy.