Tuesday, October 7, 2008
New York reels through chaos daily. But what’s affecting the City today is different than its typical turmoil; it’s fucking global.
Seasons are changing and so are bank names. The morning light that peeks through my window is more diffused, slowed by the changing location of the Earth’s orbit. As a native New Englander, seasons bring a wave of change. Light is merely one, perhaps the most pervasive. Of course once the clocks are switched, the sun’s first rays will once again annoyingly spur me. Spur me that is, more often than not, to close the drapes.
So here I am, out of New England for yet another New York fall (arguably New York’s best season), there’s change anew, and I’m restless like never before.
There’s an election coming. I’ve been waiting for 4 November 2008 for four years, and what’s in store is like nothing I could have imagined. Remember, I was a Hillary fan from the get-go three years ago. And there’s that dim-whit, should-be-blonde Sarah Palin in the mix now and she makes my skin crawl. I hope, come 4-11-08, I’ll be able to claim her ignorance as my bliss. But what scares me is that her ignorant bliss may be a Palin/McCain ticket to victory...or is it McCain/Palin? Let’s just hope all those new voters get to the polls.
My rent is still due in the full at the end of each month. It’s not that I ever expected it to change; I just hoped it would become easier. Now it seems the opposite is happening. My solutions for this range from buying wine in bulk to downgrading my Vodka preference, packing snacks and eating in, shopping thrift and erring on indulgent spontaneity.
The United States stands on a litany of brinks as I write and you read this. Never before, in my 23 years of meager existence, have I ever experienced, heard of, or read about a parallel to the myriad of calamities we are facing as a state right now. Obviously, the economy is at the forefront of all American kitchen table concerns (sure, go ahead and call me Mr. Washington Jargon). It’s backed by the real estate slump; fueled by two wars; provoked by Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea; enhanced by global warming; and topped off by a poor American image around the globe. This pains me terribly because of the love I have for this country, the great United States of America. I’m not afraid to admit it: I’m a huge nationalist. But I also have had a passport for more than two years (unlike a certain VP candidate), and am aware that this is a great wide, wonderful world that we share a planet with. A world where America is not the dictator.
The aforementioned directly correlates to my worries. I worry about my friends and family’s financial security during this callous economic downturn. Point at whom you will, but there’s only so many one can point at: George W. Bush and the six years of unabashed support for deregulation by a Republican Congress; greedy CEOs and corporate execs; seamy loan lenders; and downright dumb individuals who thought they could pay a $300,000 mortgage on a $30,000 salary. A lot went astray for eight years and it’s going to take a lot of discipline and understanding on the part of our government and the American people to right it.
We’re a generation that is blind to the conservation days of the depression and great wars. Wars that were great not because fighting is good, but because Americans banded together to support a cause and champion it. Not just with signs and care cards, but with sacrifice. They sacrificed because it was the most patriotic thing one could do, plain and simple. Instead, today, America’s patriotic script for war was to spend, spend, spend—whilst not paying for it. Perhaps if we had been asked by our Commander in Chief, who was raising the Army to fight abroad, to sacrifice and come together as a nation on a mission, we would have. After all, who wouldn’t want to pay to support our troops to defend this nation? But it didn’t happen. America (and Wall Street) partied. And Christ, I was one of them.
W and Dick, paired with 6 years of Republican reign in Congress, fused two econ-platforms together: the Reganomics of cutting taxes to trickle down the wealth, and the spending of a Socialist to better the people (but not American's). Instead his policies amounted to quite the opposite: he spent abroad, zealously, and ignored the homeland. We didn’t end up with health care, a more sound Social Security system, better education, or even stronger infrastructure, let alone alternative energy sources. We the People got shafted. Fucked by an oil-slicked, blood-coated duo from Texas and Wyoming.
Cut taxes for those making millions and steel from the middle class to dive into a brilliant, utterly personal quagmire. Sounds like a plan fit for Oligarchs...Russia anyone? Oh but wait, I can see it from my house!