Tuesday, October 7, 2008

State of the Union 10.06.08

This began as a poignant piece of socio-economic commentary. Then it kinda, got away from me.

My fellow Americans, this is a time for panic.

Were I a headline-doctor or a speechwriter or a fear-monger, surely this would be my maxim. The country finds itself in a state of utter crisis. The people who make the news would have us believe that we are all supposed to clawing at our jowls, wondering how we’ll ever recover. Plus, it’s an election year- ain’t life grand? I read today that the Dow Jones swan-dove itself to below 10,000 and I couldn’t possibly care less. What? The Dow Jones is falling? People, grab your Bibles! I don’t even know what the Dow Jones is and I can’t even muster enough interest to Google it. Call it the curse of the young and free. Call it the mark of the fiscally irresponsible; just don’t call it ignorant because us whiny liberals hate that word.

Look on the bright side, at least the financial analysts will have an easier job for a while. Wouldn’t you like to be able to reduce your working responsibilities to telling people what they already know? Personally, I’d spend most of my day coming up with interesting ways to say, it’s shitty out there. Perhaps this is the universe’s way of telling us that there are way too many financial analysts and brokers and the like to begin with. I bet some of those motherfuckers are kicking themselves for never learning a trade or cultivating a talent. Really, I don’t mean to scoff. Actually, I do mean to scoff. I am fully engaged in scoffery, head thrown back, laughing at the irony.

The hilarity comes from the fact that I already have nothing. In keeping with the stereotype, I am completely broke. I have no money and can barely pay my modest bills. I work shitty jobs for shit money. I rent. My investment portfolio is $700 in a 401k I accrued when my restaurant went corporate. I write poems, tell grimy jokes and act like a clown. I subsist on the good nature of a small culture of people like me who are willing to part with a few bucks to be entertained or inspired or distracted. The only thing six-figured about me is my car’s mileage. But guess what, dickbag? That bitch is paid for.

The beauty of my situation is in the operative word, broke. It could be worse. I could be bankrupt, the affluent person’s word for “hopelessly in the red.” (See also: over-extended, destitute, or up shit creek and paddling with the limbs of the dead.) They can’t even afford to be broke. The well-to-do types of the world are completely reliant on the economy; they have good jobs, they have mortgages and investments. So, when the market flounders and the banks go down, the upwardly mobile couple next door is fucked. Meanwhile, with the economy in the proverbial toilet, it isn’t like I notice the water smelling any different.

People like myself have been the object of white-collar scorn for years now because of our choice to be modest and un-tethered. The country at large hates our unwillingness to work 80 hours a week and wear ties or rock pantsuits. Instead, we wear stupid fucking hats and take your order, please. Prepare yourself the comeuppance, Trevor. I hope you can afford a bucket, Tiffany, because your pampered ass is gonna be washing a lot of windshields.

So, should the market continue to plummet, should we fall into crippling depression, should there be riots in the streets, people burning Benjamins in shoddy garbage cans for warmth, it will be the artists in full guffaw at the top of the bell tower with thesaurus in hand because we have inherited the earth.

We were never the meek, just the one’s with shit else to lose.

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