Monday, February 13, 2006
Workers of the world, Stop it.
OK, I'm pretty sure that the Great Conspirators Who Run Everything (GCWRE)have moved on to a new phase. Now, I'm no expert on the Secret History of the World, and I wouldn't know a black helicopter if one flew into my eye and I carry credit cards and $20 bills and hardly ever worry about satellites tracking me, so I won't pretend to be the last word here. Whether the GCWRE took over power as Phase I, and generated a media/ cultural/ journalistic/ consumer environment as Phase II, or whether it was the other way around, I have no idea. In fact, those may have been phases VIIa.3 and IXc.7 for all I know. No one ever asked me to run the world, though, obviously, they should. The point I am circling around and trying to eventually make is this: the GCWRE have moved on to the part of the master plan which is probably the greatest emotional payoff - more than money, power, love - the part where they make fun of the rest of us, and just laugh and laugh.
The clues start with recent business news. The fact that the "news" is as controlled an environment as any laboratory is documented truth from all points of the political spectrum, and I won't rehash it, but that starting point leads to certain odd conclusions. All news stories are publicized to generate an emotional reaction (the innocent explanation is that the big stories are big because people will care about them, basically switching the cause and effect). No big deal. Look at groups and pairs of news stories, however, and there is wierdness. For example, it was recently a big deal that, despite the post-holiday winter being a traditional lull in employment, the employment figures that came out last week were actually quite good. "Oh, that's great," I said to myself, "this means that there is lots of production now in a busy economy, and there will be lots of consumer spending later, when all these happy workers get their paychecks." WRONG! Congratulations, lj, you just had your passing grade in Econ 101 revoked. The correct answer was, "Oh, dear, with an increased demand for labor, the real wage may actually stop falling, and then we're doomed. DOOMED, I TELL YOU!" and it was all that Wall St. could do to prevent panic. Quick, outsource something! So, apparently I had the pre-programmed emotional response to that story, and I am exactly the Shaun of the Dead zombie that I am supposed to be. Zippity frickin' doo-dah. The fun actually starts a week or so later, when this little gem pops over the AP wire:
HOUSTON - Long before Enron Corp. drowned in scandal, its former chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling trumpeted the company's savvy in creating trading markets beyond energy. Now it turns out they are the subjects of futures contracts that allow investors to wager on whether they will be convicted of fraud and conspiracy charges....
Lawyers for the two men criticized such speculation on the future of their clients, who would face decades in prison if convicted. "I think it's abhorrent, betting on people's lives," Skilling lawyer Daniel Petrocelli said.
OK, then. A dead pool is creepy and tasteless, but I think abhorrent is a bit overboard. A dead pool, or wagering on whether Lay and Skilling's lawyers can get them off the hook for their crimes, has no effect on the lives in question whatsoever (except in that one Clint Eastwood movie, but I digress). So here are two guys who stole a ton of money (many, many tons, if it's in pennies) from virtually everyone in the country once they finished imploding the whole economy and walking home with my pension fund, and they are angry that we are going to make a few dollars back using their pathetic trial as a wager. But where are we supposed to make our money? We found out last week that it is immoral for us to be employed, so what else is there? I guess I should be selling crack to animals or something.
The moral of the stories, when you put them together: To be wealthy makes you a better person, worthy of civil treatment. To attempt to acquire wealth, whether by employment, gambling, or singing on American Idol, is morally wrong, even abhorrent. Do you hear the laughter? The GCWRE are having a collective chuckle, and probably placing bets on how we will deal with this conundrum, "Trading Places" style.
Do you need more proof that you are being laughed at? I know this is an obnoxiously long post, as they all have been, but shutting up has never been my strong suit.
Michelle "Way more important than you" Kwan is officially kicked off the Olympic team that she should never have been on in the first place because she is physically unable to compete. The spin on this has been that this is a bad thing, but really, people, give it up. I am not physically capable of competing in figure skating at the olympic level, and neither are my cats, but no one demands that we be allowed to skip the qualifying competition and just go because we are cool and could sell cereal and whatnot. If she is so keen to compete when she is not physically well and hasn't practiced for real in a few months, then let her join the Special Olympics. They are really cool about that kind of thing, they make all the competitors feel like winners, everyone gets a medal - it's perfect for her. So, whatever. How do you know that They are laughing at you? The TV STILL spent more time talking about non-olympian Michelle "Special Athlete" Kwan and how perfect she is than any other athlete, including the dork who one the Gold Medal in the Men's Snowboarding Halfpipe, who, even more amazing, did it without having been free of the effects of marijuana since 1998.
Do you still think the Olympics don't demonstrate that the folks in charge are completely laughing at you? The opening ceremony, a meaningful, serious event, will be forever remembered for the image at the top of this post.
Your Humblest and Most Devoted Servant,
I'm laughing to tears here -- starting with "vaguely unsanitary".
I was just about to turn my computer over to my kid when I saw the comment come in. She's making me hand it over, but I will be back.