My Internet connection has been off since the beginning of December due to my own kind of ‘economic downturn,’ causing me to do my share of begging, pleading, and promising to repay. So even though it may be as late as mid February when this article gets posted, it’s actually 3:30am on December 16th as I begin to write. Of course, I’ll probably still be tweaking it right up to the moment it’s posted. Be forewarned: I am being possessed intermittently a Hollywood caricature of an old Black woman as I struggle to write about this very serious subject. So grin and bear with me, please.
Once again it’s that time of year when the red-suited storm troopers have come to hold our loved ones (and nation) hostage until we bankrupt ourselves fulfilling their ransom demands. However, I think that perhaps their masters will be disappointed this year, due to the fact that their previous ad-induced bling-bling flings have already pretty well deflated the bubble. Can anyone please explain to me why everyone is so surprised to find that the banks, including the little piggy, are empty, considering the deranged and frenzied spending binge we’ve been on for the past few years?
But there’s a new year a comin’ and hope springs eternal! No wait, I think that I may just be regurgitatin some o dat Madison avenue haze. In reality, the forecast for the immediate future ain’t looking all that rosy. For although the Bush may have been thoroughly burned, the new Obamanation will have one mighty struggle rising from these ashes. And as all of those campaign polls and election results demonstrate, the new Man’s race is not his biggest problem. I don’t know about you, but my cupboard is getting pretty bare and I’m finding it very difficult to live on just bread, or words, alone. But enough about my little problems.
I’m more concerned about all those poor suffering rich folk. Man it was sad to see them all parading into Washington in their corporate jets, limousines, and fancy suits to beg for ol’ Uncle Sam’s help. Po’ thangs! Pitiful, just pitiful. Kinda brings to mind what it musta been like goin’ before the motor company’s pay allocation board in that Atlas Shrugged book. You know, the one where your pay was based on ol’ mister Lennon’s from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs. And it’s not like it’s their fault neither, ’cause ain’t the pursuit of something for nothing the new American Dream? Those folk simply done what any red-hot-blooded American would do when he finds a good piece of American Pie within his reach. After all, everybody knows that all that stuff about ‘earning your way’ and ‘living within your means’ is just The Man’s way of keeping us down.
And speakin’ of those nice gov’ment folks, they certainly done their parts gettin’ us into this mess ain’t they? We sent them to mount Washington to cure all that ails us, and with all their wars on this and wars on that, they’ve given new meaning to ‘put your money where your mouth is.’ And just look at all the fine work they’ve done in ‘leveling the playing field.’ Why with all their half-truths, double-dealin, and outright hypocrisy, we’re now the equal of any of those third-rate countries that used to speak so badly ’bout us. Yes indeed, those big shots sure have set a fine example for us all. It does our country right proud to be represented so well. After all, who needs ‘moral authority’ anyway? If you ask me, I’d say that being the ‘leader of the free world’ was pretty high fallutin’ thinking to begin with.
But wait just a darned minute there. Did I get that backwards? Wasn’t there something about of the people, by the people, and for the people? Wasn’t it us, after all, that bought lock, stock, and barrel into the idea of ‘buy now and pay later?’ How many of us actually stepped forward to raise hell over the true meaning of ‘consumer driven economy? Maybe, just maybe, those big shots are merely reflections of what ‘we the people’ have allowed ourselves to become. Maybe the American Dream has lost it’s luster because we’ve failed to maintain it, like the way we’ve failed to maintain our now crumbling infrastructure. Could be time to break out that ol’ bottle of Tarn-X?
Now I hesitate to say this, as I wouldn’t want y’all to think I’ve gone all pollyannaish on you. But is it possible that we could solve all our ‘market worries’ by simply bringing to the market something that will actually sell? What, exactly, are we buying with all those bails of cash our great leaders are passing out? Could it be that no matter how hard you pursue it, genuine happiness can only be gained by those who’ve earned it?
Will we ever wake from this nightmare so we can dare to Dream again?
I want ice water.