I’m sitting here trying to write a post to wrap up the past year and get us all psyched for 2009, and all I can come up with is: 2008 turned out to be quite the shit sandwich, didn’t it?
Lately, I’ve been working very hard on becoming more positive, and I think my efforts are bearing fruit. HEY, NO SNICKERING IN THE BACK! Anyway, what was I saying? Oh, yes, more positive. From a personal perspective 2008 was a good year. We had our health, there were no disasters, and in general life rolled on like an expensive Euro-sedan.
Am I the only one who’s been reading the newspaper and watching CNN thinking, “Holy crap I must be going insane. There is no way these kinds of things can be going on and people aren’t RIOTING IN THE STREETS.” Not that I’m condoning or encouraging violence in any way, but every morning I go outside to pick up the newspaper from my driveway, sit down at the kitchen table with a fresh cup of coffee, scan the headlines and am stunned that among all the insanity I’m reading, there isn’t even one story about a mob putting an investment banker’s head on a pike and marching it through a torchlit town singing “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead.”
Instead of that kind of happy interlude, what do we have? One single looter gets punched in the face at his gym. So, apparently America is cool about having its future looted by a bunch of greedy megalomaniacs.
The rule seems to be: God forbid your football team loses a playoff—there’ll be blood in the streets. Your job, your house, and your future stolen? Meh. Sports Center is on.
Why is that? All I can think is that there aren’t enough symbols of the disaster. It’s all risk management computer models, words with many syllables, and, “Hey, Bob’s house has a foreclosure sign. That’s too bad.” News flash: You see the symbols every day on CNN. Our democratically elected Congress which got fat off the lobbyists for the looters; The investment banker who REALLY REALLY can’t understand why he shouldn’t get a bonus after his company was bailed out by the tax payers; The Big Three CEO who has to be shamed into working for stock options—a.k.a. $1 a year—instead of receiving an obscene salary no matter what the performance of his company. After all, it’s not his fault his company needs tax-payer money, IT’S EVERYBODY ELSE’S. But he definitely, OH DEFINITELY has to make millions of dollars a year because HE’S IN CHARGE! and if General Motors doesn’t pay HIM millions of dollars a year, they might get somebody incompetent in his seat. Which he is MOST DEFINITELY NOT. After all, he gets paid millions of dollars a year! Would an incompetent get paid that much? NO NO NO. QED, suckers.
If you think the preceding is histrionic, news flash: it’s just going to get worse—awful as the global meltdown is, it’s just a harbinger. As the Ponzi scheme nature of the global economy unrolls more and more, we’ll be lucky to have an economy at all. If you think 2009 will see the economy improve, I’m glad the Prozac is working for you. Enjoy your delusions. It’s going to get much, much worse.
At this point I’m thinking the best thing I can do to prepare my daughter for the future is to give her a mohawk and a shotgun and teach her to work on V8 engines.
Have you looked at the national debt lately? As I’m writing this, the average debt per citizen is $34,577.94. The debt has increased by “an average of $3.37 billion per day since September 28, 2007.” How you like them apples? Who’s going to pay that off?
The point is, WHERE IS THE RAGE? I have no idea.
And that frightens me to no end.
Oh, and Happy New Year!
Includes Hollywood Dead, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, The Court of Broken Knives, and Port of Shadows.
Nic has a retinal tear and has his vision is saved by a laser.
Includes The Storm Before the Storm, White Trash, Calypso, Tell the Machine Goodnight, Prince of Fools, and Provenance.
The Internet tells Nic to install Ubiquiti gear in his house, so he does, and now he has thoughts.
What I wish I’d known when I started podcasting.
Nic starts a new podcast about—gasp!—American sports.
Mostly excellent non-fiction in this installment. Includes Fantasyland, The Miracle of Dunkirk, Das Reich, The Undoing Project, Waiting for the Punch, Vacationland and Points of Impact.