Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nothing to fear

I don't know about you, but as for me, I'm tired of feeling scared. Or maybe I should say, I'm tired of being told that I should feel scared.

(Yes, uh oh, this is going to be a political post. No more light-hearted banter. I am in a serious mood. If I was any more serious, I would go change out of my pajamas. That's how serious I am.)

"Zo, Mrs. Morrison, ven did these fears begin?"

Well doctor, I think it began around 9/11. That was such a scary day. It was like the rug was pulled out from under all of us. ("what do you MEAN people hate us?? why would they hate us??") After that, we were all a little shaky. So it didn't take much to spook us again.

We quickly directed our fear towards Osama Bin Laden. Soon, we were told that we should widen our sights and start worrying about Saddam Hussein. There were lots of terrifying words thrown around, like "mushroom cloud" and "chemical weapons." Our knees started trembling. Do something! Anything! Shock and Awe! Yes, that's it!

The 2004 election played on our fears perfectly, with catchy campaign slogans like "Vote for me or the terrorists will get you." And recently, it's only gotten worse. The 2008 campaign had catchy slogans of its own, like "Vote for me or a terrorist will be in the White House. Or at least someone who has a name that is vaguely terroristical."

And the economic meltdown! Yikes! We were just starting to feel maybe a little secure, maybe a little un-terrified, when someone who-shall-remain-nameless-but-whose-middle-initial-is-quite-well-known came out of the White House and said "THE ENTIRE GLOBAL ECONOMY IS COLLAPSING!!!" In the ensuing months, we have seen puzzling statistics indicating that Americans are no longer spending money, enjoying vacations or buying McMansions. No duh. SOMEBODY TOLD US THE ENTIRE GLOBAL ECONOMY IS COLLAPSING! We are terrified.

(I do apologize for my serious mood today. Perhaps I pay too much attention to the biased liberal media. I promise my next post will be more fun. Pardon me while I go get some cheetos.)

In the past few weeks, I have to admit my terror has shifted a little. It seems there is a fine line between fear and anger.

I feel fear when I think about the possibility of my husband losing his job, which depends in large part on the auto industry. (I trust that God will provide for us. He always does. And yet, I can't help but wonder how we will find affordable health insurance and whether we will ever get our retirement savings back.)

That fear shifts to anger, however, when I see politicians playing power games instead of truly seeking solutions.

I feel fear when I think about terrorists and the very real fact that there are people out there who hate Americans and who are willing to kill innocent people to make a point.

That fear shifts to anger, however, when I hear a high-ranking official who-shall-remain- nameless-but-who-once-shot-a-friend-in-the-face defend blatant acts of torture, and respond to the concerns of Americans regarding the Iraq war (dare I say it? perhaps we, also, have killed innocent people to make a point) with a shrug of the shoulders. "So?"

"Zo. You are getting agitated. Take another handful of Cheetos."

No, doctor. I'm fine. In fact, I'm feeling a little better. Because I know I'm not the only one who is angry.

I'm not the only one who cast a vote for change.

I'm not the only one who is paying close attention to who says what, and why.

I'm not the only one who is rooting for our country, hoping for better days, and praying that we might all catch a vision of a stronger, kinder and wiser America.

And I have just one message for the politicians, red or blue, who think they have been elected to play the political game, not to serve the little guys who cast those meaningless things called "votes" - and who think the best way to advance their agenda is by yelling "boo" -

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's The Economy, Stupid - or - It's Stupid, The Economy - or - The Economy? It's Stupid

Today, we turn our attention to a serious subject: the State of the Economy. I hesitated at first to write about something that might actually be important. I figured there were other writers out there covering the story who were more informed than I. But I was wrong.

I started performing my usual extensive research, looking for news coverage on the subject (google: Economic crisis ... google: Financial meltdown ... google: AGHHHHH) and I quickly realized that there really is no "news coverage" any more. There's just bloggers, like me.

The nice thing about bloggers is, you generally know where they stand within the first few words. Here are a few examples from actual blogs. As Dave Barry would say, I am not making these up.

- Republicans caused this financial crisis ...

- Democrats caused this financial crisis ...

- Greedy lenders are at the root of the financial crisis ...

And even,
- Did your Representative cause the financial crisis? (I didn't read any further, but I suspect the answer is "yes")

And wait! This one is even funnier:
- Did anti-depressants cause the financial crisis? (and if not, can we all have some please?)

It's interesting to see how the bloggers reflect society as a whole. I think if you put us all in a huge metaphorical blender and whirred us around for a minute or two, you would come out with a fairly accurate representation of society as whole. Although of course we would still be wearing pajamas.

The blog headlines do seem to reflect the general tone of the nation, as exemplified so bravely and eloquently by our leaders, George "Can-I-Please-Go-Back-To-Dallas-Now?" Bush, and Hank "Good-Lord-We're-All-Doomed" Paulson.

Here are a few examples, which I did not make up for the most part:

- The World As We Know It Is Going Down

- A Crisis Unmatched Since The Great Depression

- The Politics Of Despair

- What Do We Do Now?

- Where Did Our Money Go??

- Who ARE All These People Who Bought Houses They Couldn't Afford, And Why Are WE Stuck Paying The Bill When We Worked For Years And Played By The Rules, I Mean Dang We Should Have Bought A Million Dollar House, At Least We'd Have Something To Show For It.

As you can tell, these political blogs get a little intense. But fortunately, there are lots of other blogs to explore! Like:

- Spread The Love

- The Grocery Cart Poet

- Brain Dump

and, if those are still too intense for you -
- The Real Housewives of Orange County: Vicki's Family Drama

I would love to get into the intricacies of credit default swaps and the nefarious plotting of the hapless homeowners who conspired to bring down the global economy by having the audacity to think that they might actually deserve three bedrooms and a bath-and-a-half. But I really do need to read Vicki's post about Lauri's magical wedding, which was so intimate and romantic and princessical and - hold on, I need a tissue - and sure to be the start of years and years and years of complete happiness that is probably over already because I hear they got into a huge argument during the reception and I just can't believe it but I think - wait, one more tissue - they may be getting a divorce!!!

Gotta go.