n-n-no tomorrow

2/23/09

Whoo-hoo! Yesterday’s blog was the least-popular ever! (well, maybe tied with that time I had to give myself a suppository while driving – but I digress.) It led to excellent comments by all, but I think many of you were missing the larger point – which is my fault. Sometimes I sacrifice clarity on the altar of bombast.

Let me put it in list form:

1. There is no doubt the current economic crisis is horrifically bad, but it is not fucking ARMAGEDDON.

2. If it is ARMAGEDDON, then there’s very little any of us can do about it except store cans of Brunswick Stew and be nice to our neighbors.

3. If we agree that it is not the end of America, then we must further surmise that things will get better in time – more likely over the next 3 years, rather than 15.

4. If so, then your 401K and other savings will rebound, and if you have a good broker who purchased some stock at the bottom of the market, then you might even be better off.

5. If you’re about to retire, I apologize. The timing sucks for you. Fiscally, the next 18 months are probably going to be especially painful, and we just have to get through it as best we can. Charlotte, you’re going to be fine. Detroit? Columbia, SC? I’m not so sure about you.

6. The current media obsession with dark, dark times IS NOT HELPING, and in fact, does nothing more than alarm an ill-educated populace into making terrible decisions while they’re scared shitless. And when this happens, somewhere, somehow, The Man is smiling.

7. If this makes me seem out of touch, then I’m willing to risk looking foppish and moronic, because it beats the shit out of running down the street screaming, wearing a bra over my shirt. I will NOT be rendered non-functional by living through American history again.

8. I forgot what eight was for, but

9. Dook sucks. God, how I hate those motherscratchers. Did anyone see this?

0 thoughts on “n-n-no tomorrow

  1. LFMD

    Thanks for the clarification, but I can’t be talked down on this topic. I will continue to rend my garments and MSNBC and CNN.

    Reply
  2. Jody

    I still don’t quite subscribe to your take on the appropriate level of response.
    You occasionally write a very compelling essay on the psychological effects of 9/11 on your person. It was well warned that this sort of attack was coming, both by the intelligence community and by an essayist influnced by your old buddies, Strauss and Howe (sorry, reference coming later). Same goes for Katrina and it’s extremely detailed effects on NOLA.
    These events were mentioned, even in detail, but nothing was done about them. Now they are nation-defining, psyche changing, TSA building mega-events. I think a certain amount of hyperbole is necessary to wake people up, especially considering that they routinely ignore detailed predictions at their peril.
    Now I have to confess, I don’t have TV to the extent that I can watch MSNBC or FOX or even HN. It seems that Beck and others have presented some fairly alarming scenarios (so I hear), however some fairly alarming scenarios have happened in the past ten years, physical and economic.
    The same dire predictions are trumpeted by Bill Bonner at http://www.dailyreckoning.com for example, and have been for a long time, but I suppose they are written in a more modest way. Makes them seem too benign…
    BTW, LFMD – read some dailyreckoning, but not Kunstler, definitely not Kunstler.

    Reply
  3. CM

    “does nothing more than alarm an ill-educated populace into making terrible decisions”
    I don’t know. Everyone I know is trying to make sure they don’t screw up at work, because losing their job would be much worse in this economy than five years ago. People are more careful about what they spend and save. So….?
    The media has to raise alarms to get people to pay attention and listen. And no, I don’t see where they profit from doing this.
    Do you think advertisers place more ads because the papers are saying business sucks?
    This blog WAS popular because people responded! ;)
    Let’s say the media picked up on newspaper reports about New Orleans and trumpeted the potential for hurricane dangers years before it happened. They would have been called alarmists too.
    Anyway, most of us have pretty good B.S. filters by now. It’s easy to be contrary. Sometimes SOME of the media gets it right…what media we have left, anyway.
    Thanks for putting “Kiss Off” into my head…haven’t listened to that tape in a long time.

    Reply
  4. tregen

    sounds an awful lot like a fox news talking point regarding negative coverage of the last eight years. I hate bush, but blaming the media is old hat.

    Reply
  5. Jason Savage

    The man is smiling? Which media conglomerate is relishing the slashed ad budgets from every marketer in the country?

    Reply
  6. xuxE

    i agree the media doesn’t help anything, i only disagree that the media is like a contrary indicator that things are not that bad, like the reality is inversely proportional to the hype.
    it’s true that the economic crisis can’t take away your birthday, and for people who can eat and are employed right now it won’t seem that bad. and it’s also true that for folks who think a CDO is a robot from star wars, the big media blitz might cause them to stick their heads in the sand which would not be good.
    and hell, it’s even hard to listen to gov’t officials on this subject after the last 8 years of tuning them out. alan greenspan now admits his whole belief system was incorrect and i’m still pissed off about being told to buy duct tape and plastic sheeting to guard against biological weapons. after being on code chartreuse for long enough, you start to take things coming out of washington with a grain of salt. so even now when the word comes out about the economic recovery plans i feel a knee jerk reaction to be skeptical, even though i know this time it is truly different, i still feel that.
    but to your point about the *what to do* aspect, i think the answer is to respond in a similar way to other large looming almost unfathomable crises, like saving the environment.

    Reply
  7. Totoro

    I just found out that an old friend from Carolina is now a big shot at a hedge fund/private equity firm. His company got heavily into subprime mortgages and wallowed at the trough of feckless blind greed like all the others.
    I’m sad that this is how he chose to apply his considerable talents to the world. Not that I’m holding him personally responsible for this mess, but still.

    Reply
  8. Randy

    Parachute! Parachute! Where is my Parachute? Did you see how many steps that freshman at Dook took? He walked on every crack on K floor.
    Stay True, Ian. The Sun will come out, tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun.
    Or, as Uncle Monty said – “Always look on the bright side of life”

    Reply

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