Monthly Archives: December 2010

The Ghosts of Christmas Present

I am not entirely sure that this is the “change” America had “hoped” for.

Without necessarily being able to articulate our concerns. — either because of a lack of political insight or a preponderance of underdeveloped frontal lobes — most Americans during the 2008 elections at least understood that our country had taken a dramatic, economic turn for the worse. We wanted things they way they were…the way they were supposed to be… and we were both addled and anxious over the Orwellian scenario being played out in real life, and in our time. So in our fear inspired angst, we sat on our ample posteriors and turned to the Mocha Messiah to make things right. We wanted our deep fried finger food, Facebook, and cheap electronics made by Asian child labor. But most of all we wanted those responsible for denying us Americans our divine right to live in ignorant, gravy stained bliss to pay for their intrusion.

However two years into President Obama’s administration, Americans are facing yet another Christmas with little optimism for the economy, or their savings accounts.

As Mark Twain once plagiarized, “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damn lies, and Statistics.” While the “official” unemployment numbers hover around 10% nationally, the truth is those stats are significantly, and immeasurably higher. With regard for workers whose unemployment benefits have either run out, or who could never apply in the first place because they were employed “off the books” –not to mention those who are so far removed from the “job scene” that they have stopped seeking employment entirely — more realistic economists place the actual unemployment rate at somewhere between 15-17%. As circumstances become increasingly dire, reasonable perspective on this topic has become more difficult to come by.

I recall President Obama — just a few weeks into his term — making an appearance on the David Letterman Show, as all big TV stars do. With a cavalier disregard for those who had just elected him, our Commander in Chief leaned back in his chair, and pompously proclaimed to the optimistic, wide-eyed, and largely unemployed proletariat — that the CEO’s of the financial institutions who received our tax money in the form of ‘bailouts”, whose documented, purposeful actions undermined our nation’s financial structure, and security…and whose greed *literally* put a millions of Americans out of work, and out of their homes — “Did nothing wrong.” …and as I sat there bewildered and attempting to reconcile how my neural synapses had been compromised — because there was no possible way that I could have heard what I thought I did — my immediate reaction was “What the F&$% did he just say?!?!?!?!?!?!?! They stole our God Damn money!!!! Holding these thieves accountable is why you were voted into office, you Asshole!!!!”

At the very least, those of us who knew what the Glass/Steagall act was expected that our new fearless leader would recognize how it’s overturning by President Clinton was significantly contributory towards our present state of economic plight….and how allowing corporate conglomerates to create virtual monopolies was not only anti-capitalist and un-American… but it cost an untold number of white and blue collar jobs whenever these ‘mergers” (which could have never happened before 1999) were allowed to continue…. But nope… Not a word from Obama. Not only did he allow Glass/Steagall to remain overturned… and not only did he allow the corporate thieves who stole our money to keep it… BUT HE GAVE THEM EVEN MORE F&$%ing MONEY!!!!!!!!!!

Of all the reasons the country was angry at George Bush, and justifiably so, this was at the top of the list…. Runaway corporate greed and ruthless profiteering at our expense. We were mad as hell, and we weren’t going to take it anymore. We wanted our jobs, our dignity, and our 401K’s back. But here was our working class hero– the Brown Avenger himself — the guy who was going to make things right –regurgitating the same contemptible corporatist crap that had made his predecessor the villain he was. There were no words to adequately describe this betrayal. Americans had been played like the rubes that we were.

Our nation has become like the audience at a pro wrestling match. We sit there, with our vacant expressions, and furor provoked spittle in the corner of our mouths watching two gigantic lummoxes bash each other senseless. As we raise our collective ire cheering on one boorish oaf or the other, our irrational frenzy becomes exponential at the sight of one of the combatants producing a pair of brass knuckles from his trunks. Unfortunately, the referee is the only person in the arena who had his back turned, and Whamo! … As one of the two behemoths lay immobilized, half of us are either heartbroken or delighted depending on whom we were rooting for.

Of course, as most of us with the correct amount of chromosomes are aware, the fix was in. Pro wrestling is all scripted, and following the match, both wrestlers will most probably laugh it up backstage, and drive to the next town to put on the same show for a different arena full of easily entertained dullards. They make a ton of money, and the promoter behind the scenes pulling the strings makes even more. So it has become with politics.

The fix is in, folks.

As we stampede one another from Black Friday to Boxing Day in our local Walmarts… and slide further into the intellectual abyss… spending money we don’t have because many of us have either lost our jobs or make significantly less …. and we remain afraid for ourselves, and our country’s future…. rather than allowing ourselves to be manipulated by politicians from both parties who have willingly engaged in the dummied-down dialogue of polarization… which has made our political process more like reality TV than a legislative body…. so that it will distract us as they steal our money… we need to recognize that the terrorists who have done — and continue to do the most damage to our country — are actually Ivy league educated, Anglo Saxon, and Business partners with our last 5 Presidents.