recently there has been a lot of talk about our economy and, i suppose, our financial system as a general concept; if what i hear on the streets is any indication, things are “incredibly fucked up” and “about to be fixed by Obama!” but all the emotion involved in this chatter can be confusing to the average man, who needs calm, wise voices to explain the situation to him. luckily for that man, much of the discussion about the economy comes from the following calm, wise sources:
–television talking heads who overreact for a living;
–professional financial analysts who, as far as i can tell, are paid to keep the US (and other nations) on some kind of stock market “shame spiral” where you say everything sucks and that makes everyone depressed and, in turn, makes everything suck more, thus allowing said analysts to be “right” about things;
–random fucking idiots that you know, are friends with, work with, are related to, and so on. you know, the kind of fucking idiots that fell for that shitty “We Deserve It Dividend” e-mail? yes, those are the idiots who are convinced they know “the answers” to things like economic troubles and “how do you solve a problem like Maria?”
now, as for myself, i can’t tell you the answer to the economic woes of America and/or the rest of the world, but i’m not going to try. what i AM going to do is get super-disgusted by the way people have reacted to it and try to fit some jokes in there. okay? okay. let’s get started.
not buying yourself new designer jeans, scrimping and saving so that your children don’t go without: what’s the difference?
let me start this by pointing out something subtle about this article: its title is “To Buy Childrenâ€™s Gifts, Mothers Do Without,” which evokes a O. Henry-esque level of sacrificing for the happiness of your young ones and implies that these mothers are undergoing some serious hardship to make their children happy… but the title of the actual page is “Mothers Cut Personal Shopping to Buy Childrenâ€™s Gifts,” a much weaker tug on the heartstrings, and the description goes “Parents, especially mothers, are putting off personal spending to buy their children the latest toys.”
so this is really about a bunch of vapid cunts going without designer jeans (that they covet) and new coats and then wanting me to believe they’re making a great sacrifice? a sacrifice would be SELLING YOUR DESIGNER JEANS AND USING THAT MONEY TO BUY YOUR CHILD A TOY. or not buying your child a toy because your child is very sick and the only money you have has to pay for their medicine and Ebenezer Scrooge refuses to give you a raise. yeah, ghosts will eventually straighten him out and you’ll score a huge goose, but until that time, real sacrifice is going down.
the article also claims that “the downturn, analysts said, is being exacerbated by unexciting fashions in stores. and the lack of pressure to conform to one particular style these days means women do not have to update their work wardrobes”; this all leads me to believe that these ladies don’t have it as bad as, say, my grandmothers did during the Great Depression.
Wal-Mart: where shoppers go for everyday low prices and to feel the rush that comes with trampling a man to death
i recall some events in the past where people have gotten WAY out of control in a rush for cheaply-made and cheaply-priced goods; it’s a bit ridiculous, but as long as the results remained restricted to rude behavior and Wal-Mart profiting from it, well, i didn’t approve but also wasn’t going to allow myself to get very worked out about it. but when a 34-year-old gets trampled to death by a couple hundred people because they’re RUSHING TO SHOP ON BLACK FRIDAY… well, we have to draw the line somewhere.
now, granted, this guy can’t have been the most tough and athletic guy, because the article claims the cause of death was actually a heart attack, not trampling, and the EMTs who were trying to save him ALSO got stepped on and, well, they didn’t die. but he also was a guy with a job who wasn’t in a wild-eyed panic over $70 cameras and $9 DVDs. he also didn’t chant “push the doors in” at a store that wasn’t open for shoppers at 5 AM, and he didn’t refuse to leave a store when asked to because someone died there by saying “i’ve been on line since Friday morning!”
and for that matter, that’s really a huge wait? Friday morning? when this event happened at like 5 AM on Friday? that IS Friday morning! so people are being asked to leave because they’ve trampled someone to death, and their justification for refusing is “i’ve been on line for over several minutes?” man, do we live in a society of instant gratification or what?
i also hear now that the family of the victim are not wasting time trying to find people responsible for this because they’re very busy filing a lawsuit against Wal-Mart due to Wal-Mart’s low low prices enraging people to cause this man’s death. hey, i get it, Wal-Mart should have KNOWN that when you sold a Samsung 50-inch Plasma HDTV for $798, a Bissel Compact Upright Vacuum for $28, a Samsung 10.2 megapixel digital camera for $69 and DVDs such as “The Incredible Hulk” for $9, people would get SO worked up that they’d kill for them, and so it’s Wal-Mart’s fault. this surely has nothing to do with the likelihood of getting a 7-figure settlement.
also, i used that listing of products because apparently it gets stated in every news story – even the one about the family suing – that relates to this topic. wow.
in case you’re wondering what the kind of people who believe in the “We Deserve It Dividend” look like, here is a picture
yes, i know, i JUST brought this thing up and bashed it, but allow me to be redundant to point out the two major problems i have with it:
a) the terrible math involved. whereas any grade school student could tell you that dividing $85 billion between 200 million people wouldn’t get you anywhere NEAR to $425000 a person without even doing the math, apparently the geniuses who have read it don’t even think about anything beyond reading something that says “you deserve $425000!”
b) the sense of entitlement involved. look, if you didn’t like that specific bailout concept (the $85 million bailout of AIG, specifically), fine, but your response should be something more like “borrowing against our childrens’ futures is fiscally irresponsible,” not “GIVE ME MONEY GIVE ME MONEY GIVE ME MONEY!” the latter is just greedy and, frankly, indicative of the effects of all that “self-esteem” bullshit you got spoon fed in school. don’t complain about the greed of executives if you act like that, because YOU ARE GREEDY TOO.
…also, it occurs to me that i should have saved the whole “ecstasy of gold” title reference for this week given, you know, the above topics. oh well, better alignment of title and subject next time!