Okay, we're in trouble. This voting with dollars system is supposed to deliver us the best American ingenuity can offer. But it seems fatally flawed.
Well it's not the suppliers fault. They're just the humble servants of we who demand. Maybe the problem began when we started calling ourselves "consumers". That name is so passive. So lame. We need our confidence back. I say we start calling ourselves the "demanders".
For the greatest country on earth, our market failures have been staggering: The energy industry. Real estate. The job market.
And then our EPIC FAIL. The news media of course. 70% of Americans don't trust it at all. Most of us are wondering if these TV "personalities" get any shallower, will they turn invisible?
With the media ignoring the golden nuggets of America's most promising ideas in favor of gossiping about one another, who of us has the time to solve the pressing problems of our time from scratch?
Just think: the energy crisis is really taking most of us at least a few hours to get up to speed on. That great Rolling Stone article took me 40 minutes not including additional Googling. And that didn't even provide a clear understanding of what demands to start making.
But with the latest Lohan story, that's information I can put to use in seconds. I get it. I know what jail is. And I know her back story. She's a party girl. I'll post my demand for Lindsay's immediate release at E! Online. Now I'm pissed off 'cause I really didn't have time for this.
My point is, we need more time! Just a few more hours a day to start understanding this world a bit better so we can make smarter, more powerful demands.
Sure we need better educations (so we have more than 20 words to express ourselves), healthier diets (so we can concentrate), and more leisure time (so we're not so stressed and passive aggressive).
But I'd like to propose we start with something easy to tackle which would have a ripple effect on all our other problems.
I'm talking about addressing the most outdated after effect of America's favorite recreation and the most obscene market failure of the century: The Hangover.
How is it possible that the most brilliant economic system on earth is still serving alcohol as the best delivery system for getting drunk in 2010? 2010! The number used to be synonymous with a decade after a computer would try to kill human beings. 2010 does not look like the dazzling future we hoped the new millennium would produce.
Even the complementary markets of our beer chugging society have failed: 1 out of 3 fatal car crashes are caused by drunk drivers. 12,000 a year. Monumental fail.
The US Department of Justice says 40% of violent crimes occur under the influence of alcohol. Speaking of cops, they have twice the alcoholism rate as the rest of society. Don't these guys deserve a better fix?
The point is that it's long overdue for alcohol to make way for something better.
Here it is in a nutshell. Literally. The former drug czar of Britain, David Nutt has discovered what he thinks are the basic requirements to make a synthetic alcohol that will never give you a hangover. And get this: there is an antidote that can sober you up in 15 minutes (to drive, give a lecture, or call your Mother). I'm not making this up.
A sober-you-up pill. Think of the time you will save no longer being too sloppy, headachey and / or miserable, America! Time that you can now use to make better demands regarding all our other market failures.
And the side effects? Most domestic violence occurs under the influence of alcohol. Just slip that anger-management case a sober-pill. I dunno. Tell him it's crystal meth. Drunk driving? No problem. Sobering up's as easy as digging a Xanax out of your pocket. Alcohol poisoning? Organ failure? Over like VHS tapes... Gone like 3D movies in 2015.
Now, here's the rub. I'm not a patent expert but there's something generic about the chemical basis of this discovery and the Professor is saying it's not patentable. So no single company is going to rule the world with this thing. It'll be something that anybody can make.
We're talking about a national, locally owned jobs program. And with everyone partying hard (but not too hard) on this good-for-you elixir, we can realize our potential. Like, oh I don't know, demanding a better energy system, more efficient and safer transportation, a social contract for the over 40 million Americans who live below the poverty line. Things like that.
With the economy booming, jobs popping up everywhere, that air of positivity will reduce our need to numb ourselves from the pain of modernity. This could be the first product whose use is genuinely its own deterrent. Unlike other products which promised that quality but had the opposite, like guns or nukes.
For the hard core users, surely it can be whipped into a snort-able or smokable powder. That could put cocaine out of business, thus ending the drug war in Mexico!
For all these reasons, the government and their corporate partners may prefer to add synth alcohol to the list of narcotics the DEA comes after you for.
So we will have to demand it. Loud. Like when we insisted on smarter phones, sodas with zero calories and our very own country free from the British.
Demanding is easier than you think. Just shut your eyes (maybe squint so you can keep reading) and imagine the last time you slammed down on your horn. Flipped someone off. Bought frozen yogurt. You were making a demand right then. You were being patriotic as hell. That's all we have to do.
And seriously, when's the last new drug you heard about that you really wanted to try as much as this? Don't be scared. Be a patriot and prove that capitalism is the best system ever.
By the 4th of July, 2011 instead of drinking cold worms and cat hair or whatever's in tequila, we'll be enjoying a fruity ice-blended synthetic smoothie that gets us just as hammered but with no lost weekends...
So don't call your government representative. They only listen to their corporate sponsors anyway. Call Miller. Coors. Absolut. The Captain. Whoever makes your intoxicant of choice. Let's write. Call. Send an email demanding that when we pick our poison it should no longer contain poison. Natural alcohol is as played out as our great grandfather's liver.
If this doesn't work I fear we might really have to reassess this whole democracy for dollars thing.