Friday, July 24, 2009

Idiot Wind

Because it's Friday and there's no holiday this weekend (except for my sister's birthday, today) and because I can (and you can help), let's declare whatever this economic toboggan ride, without the toboggan and the snow, OFFICIALLY over. I put officially all in CAPS so that it has some gravitas just like the talking mutton heads on television with the degrees from the Harvard Business School and the London School of Economics who sat there night after night and told us we were petting a kitty-kat with a racing stripe that proved to be a skunk.

Nobody we know invented Bernie Madoff-I can't even conceive of a hustle like that, my brain is too small to do it. Do you know anyone who was working a McJob and who bought a house with a 400K mortgage through a bank? Nope, me neither. For the longest time, all the reporting on the 'economic tsunami' could have been from Pago-Pago.

When the banks started going out of business, we began to take this seriously and got very solemn and sort of grim. We spoke about putting our shoulders to the wheel, reminded each other 'we've been through this before' (well, no, we haven't; our parents and their parents have been through this before) talked a LOT about shared sacrifice and vowed to 'pull together.'

So, in light of all the bickering and dickering, posturing, pouting and politicking in the last three weeks, from the
Grand Coulee Dame to the Capitol, the 'debates' that all sound like "I know you are, but what am I?"and the return to finger-pointing as part of the problem-solving matrix, I guess we're done.

Welcome to the New Prosperity, please insert forty cents for the next three minutes. You probably don't get that. At one time in America we had phones in glass booths on every street corner because we had no phones in our pockets. We could put coins in those phones, starting with a dime, and call people, Mrs Avery (I had honestly NEVER heard that version before)). We can't afford a return to the Good Old Days, so this will have to do. Especially since this is all there is.

This time last year, as a nation, we were falling in love with love. As is the case so often in personal relationships, there's a phase of the courtship where everything is endearing and precious and then as life grinds on, we find ourselves waiting for the shine to come off. The same habits that were so cute become irritations and annoyances and, if unchecked and uncorrected, grounds for growing apart and divorce.

We hold elections for office-seekers as if they magicians. Open the curtain and let the wizards' duel begin! Voila! Health care or poof! a balanced budget or Ka-zaam! an exit strategy. All with no money down and no easy, monthly payments. But when the house lights come up, it's always no more than two guys in bathrobes and pointy hats left on stage.

And a lot of unpaid bills. They wanted to be what we wanted them to be and we sure as heck wanted it as well. And none of it happened because none of it was real. "It's a wonder we can even feed ourselves."
-bill kenny

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