All you sailors, Farmer's Almanac editors and practicing Wiccans out there know that this past Sunday was the winter solstice, marking the shortest day in the northern hemisphere. I spent the brief day and long night snug in my well-appointed quarters, watching a Big Love marathon, hoping against both hope and narrative logic that a Jeanne Tripplehorn-Chloe Sevigny "pie-eating contest" would finally transpire. All that tension and repression - I mean, cripes! And as the endless tales of cult politics and boundless acquisitiveness bore me deep into the inky night, I mused on how we are in an economic winter solstice too, short on "cash money" instead of "daylight" for "an indefinite but gruesomely long period of time" instead of "a day." Bang. I should be a metaphor salesman.
We're all hunkered down for the long night, waiting for the banks to hand out the government's money so we can get back to buying houses and catamarans and flashy trousers. You know, back to normal. Let's get this economy zooming again, right? And as we await this return to normalcy (where my Harding fans at?), it's worth considering what precepts we can take from this historic outgoing administration. Thankfully, regarding our economic woes, people seem to have internalized one of the paramount lessons from the Bushies, which can be stated thusly: Whatever you're doing, just keep doing it. Consequences are for chumps. You're not a chump; you're an awesome dude. So it's basically impossible for you to make mistakes.
Just consider what these guys did: they invaded another country for "reasons" that were, in fact, pure undiluted horse shit; they sat around doing sweet FA while a major US city was destroyed by a hurricane; they violated Constitutional guarantees of privacy as well as international laws against torture, with gusto; they encouraged people mad with fear to asphyxiate themselves in their own homes so that cronies could sell lots of duct tape and plastic sheeting; etc. etc. Now, what would have happened if, at any point along the way, they'd said, "Yeesh, this hasn't really worked out so well. Maybe we should revise our game plan?" Did you say anarchy? Ding ding ding, you sexy genius. If you said anything else, statistics suggest that you are a loser.
Similarly, what if people had stopped buying houses they couldn't afford? Or lenders stopped swindling people into loans they could never hope to pay off? Or the financial sector stopped buying securities backed by mortgages made to people who were being absolutely screwed sideways? I'll tell you what would have happened: none of these people would have had the totally kick-ass decade that they did. If you thought the answer was, "Maybe my 401K would still be worth something," shut up. You should go hang gliding or something to loosen up, but obviously you can't because you're too poor.
So the problem with the current crisis is not that I bought too many motorcycles or ate too many thousand-dollar dinners. The problem is that nobody is giving me free money anymore to live the life befitting a gentleman such as myself. You call it being overleveraged, I call it having big swingin' nuts. Now gimme some loot!
To get a good look at the enemy in this struggle for radness, check out Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, who last week likened our attempts to restimulate spending to "an addict returning to the drug." So, what, he wants me to be bored and lame? Of course, his reason for being anti-consumerism is clear: he's a dumb old priest. If he and I were both at a club trying to hustle broads, there's no way he could compete with me in his weird robes and skanky beard. I bet his kicks are beat, too. Well no way, padre--I'm not going to sink to your level.
It's good to buy things--not because it's like a drug, but because it gives you a rush and makes you feel alive. So my banks should increase all of my credit lines so that I can go out and buy whatever crap I see that I want. I'll throw away all of my old furniture and replace it, I'll wreck up my car so that I have to buy a new one. Just give me the money! I need it. C'mon, baby. I'll suck your dick.