Is it just me, or does the stock market seem to be tiptoeing through the tulips while all hell's breaking loose around us?
It wasn't too long ago that the mere mention of the word "terror" would send the market plunging 300 points. Today, it's a punchline in every late-night monologue and hashtagged in every Twitter feed.
What's absolutely baffling, at this very moment, is how the world seems on the brink of certain catastrophe -- due, in no small part, to the escalating chaos in the Middle East -- yet, here at home, the Dow continues to rise in its 'glass elevator' as if it was 1985 and the only thing we have to worry about is whether or not Michael J. Fox will agree to do Back to the Future ll.
Does this freak anyone else out that our economy is paying ZERO attention to 99 percent of the news breaking daily? News that threatens to suck us back into the Middle East, and then some, for God knows how long?
Come to think of it, when was the last time you saw an AOL or Yahoo headline lamenting Greece's economy, or the financial crisis in Portugal that threatened to topple the E.U.? They've vanished from sight. Weren't these issues going to topple the World Bank and throw us into another economic collapse? Where are they now?
Gone are the minor league problems like "European financial collapse." In their place are stories ten times worse: videos depicting the beheading of American journalists on a weekly basis, Israel and Hamas in the midst of their deadliest battle to date, Russia and Ukraine playing a deadly game of 'Chicken,' Ebola multiplying out of control in Africa, the Libyan civil war, and hourly updates on how ISIS makes Al Qaeda look like The Mickey Mouse Club. Each of these issues, on their own, would be enough to put America on alert. But, don't tell that to the guys on Wall St. To them, Apple and Samsung are apparently the only things that matter at the moment. Everything else is just a 'bad egg.'
When did the threat of global terror become an after thought? This is some serious shit here.
We're talking about an army of crazy people -- tens of thousands of them -- who want everyone, but them, dead. And they already have a head start. Remember what happened the last time we ignored a bunch of ideological zealots as they marched through city after city?
Forget about withdrawing from Iraq. Forget about setting up stable governments. Forget about singing "Kumbaya" with our Muslim friends.
While we were busy smoking a wasp's nest, in walked Godzilla. If you think this isn't going to effect our economy in the months and years - possibly even decades - to come, you've got another thing coming.
You know all that money we were going to put towards health care? Education? Unemployment? Poverty? Say "Bye, bye American Dream" and "Hello, military action in half a dozen countries!" --if not more. And, of course, higher taxes.
What will the world look like in, say, 2030, once we've "won?" Will we have nuked half of the Middle East like in some zombie apocalypse movie? Seems like the inevitable solution to saving tens of thousands of American lives.
However, there is one benefit, that may come from all this insanity. We may finally be forced to give up our dependency on foreign oil. Of course, it won't be easy. But, nothing worthwhile is. Rest assured, though, at the first sign of trouble at an Iraqi refinery, you can bet the market will notice.
If the extremists overrun the oil fields, the American government and industry will have no choice but to fast-track an alternative fuel solution, pronto. That's the only way true initiative is ever really demonstrated, anyway, these days, isn't it? Necessity being the mother of invention? Paying $22 a gallon at the pump will soon lose it's luster, and the rioters in the streets will most likely send the message to Congress that clean energy would probably be the way to go from there.
It's sad that in order to see a future with clean energy in our lifetime we may have to endure some downright awful stuff, first. Or maybe I'm just as big of a party-pooper as an Oompa Loompa.