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General Interest, Life Explained

HARD TIMES? IT COULD BE WORSE.

Things are getting harder around here. Money’s tight, jobs are disappearing and the nobody seems to know when the recession will lift or if it will spiral out of control to become the Second Great Depression. But, it could be worse. You could be living in a Third World Country, one of those places where there’s been a Great Depression for centuries. In a lot of these nations, motor transport is a rare sight, as is electricity, literacy, clean water and food. So be grateful you’re an American, and be grateful you are not:

Glen Beck: One of the strangest individuals out there in TV land, this Fox Cable News political talking head is even stupider and crazier than Bill O’Really, no small achievement. And he cries a lot. Very creepy.

The President: How’d you like Barack Obama’s job? He’s got the unenviable task of cleaning up after our worst president ever and into the future. There is no area of government not left in a shambles by Bush The Younger and Shotgun Dick Cheney, co-consuls more off-the-wall than even the nuttiest Roman emperor.

A Saudi woman:  Now there’s an example of outrageous bad fortune, being born into a country that won’t let you drive or vote or speak unless spoken to, places you under house arrest, covers you in a sack from head to toe and stones you to death when you get raped because you “asked for it” by leaving the house in your come-hither formless sack. And on top of all that, you’ve got a king in dress running the show and the whole country is a sweltering sandbox.

Donald Trump: On the face of it, the guy lives a charmed life; worth billions of dollars, has a whole bunch of giant buildings with his name on them in colossal letters, a string of sexy wives and girlfriends and his own TV show. But still, the man has to be Donald Trump for his whole life, and for that we must pity the man.

An AIG executive: The giant insurance company that nobody ever heard of before one of their 13 divisions went crazy with financial scams and nearly ruined the whole company, which then had to be bailed out by the U.S. government not once but three time to the tune of 170 billion dollars. So, there you were working for a super successful but fairly anonymous corporate giant one day, earning your great salary as well as big bonuses and nobody’s the wiser, nor would they care one way or another, and you wake up one day as public enemy #1 with the whole country demanding you forfeit your multi-million dollar bonus. It’s enough to make you want to weigh yourself down with gold bars and drown in your marble jacuzzi.

An economist: Is there a worse profession to be practicing these days? People didn’t realize until it was too late that the title “economist” is pretty much a self-bestowed honor. When times are good, people look up to you like you are at least partly responsible for the general prosperity, and you get to feel real smart and important. Of course, what didn’t occur to a lot of these people is that the rest of us sort of expect them to be able to understand the economy, what with them being economists and all. Turns out they were even more clueless than high school sophomores and predicted exactly none of the financial catastrophes that have occurred lately.

Homeless: If there’s an area of endeavor in the United States suffering from a lot of new competition, it is being homeless. There’s a whole lot of new blood entering the field, and the competition for cardboard boxes, warm grates, spare change and dumpster rights is growing fierce. The new jacks, especially all those snotty former economists, are horning in on long-established territories and throwing the industry into chaos.

Working at Wal Mart: Oh, you already do? Sorry about that. Here’s hoping your life improves shortly and you don’t get trampled to death by rabid shoppers before that day comes.

In jail: The influx of bankers and stockbrokers is making the misery of being in prison even worse. Already the price of cigarettes and heroin is skyrocketing thanks to these swindlers trying to corner the market on these jail house staples. They are even forming their own gangs in our penitentiaries, calling themselves The Money Boyz, forcing all the other formerly rival gangs to band together to beat up the Money Boyz on a regular basis. Prison Guards have their hands full looking the other way. 

A Republican: The political party most responsible for the deregulation that led to corporate larceny on a huge scale and transferring trillions and trillions of dollars from the middle class to the super-wealthy which they then proceeded to blow, the Republican Party has been reduced to foaming at the mouth at every effort to correct their bonehead mistakes. At one time the GOP was the voice of fiscal conservatism and restraint, smart and reasonable people who loved their country, maybe a tad conservative for a lot of people, but earnest and well-meaning. No more. These days it resembles nothing more than the Flat Earth Society denouncing Galileo and calling for heretics to be burned at the stake. Having long since driven out all the smart and reasonable people from their ranks, it looks like it’s Whig Party time for Republicans. Wonder what their replacement as the other political party will call themselves?

Canadian: You could be an anonymous Canadian, having no national identity outside of ice hockey and red-suited mounties and watching all your talented people emigrate to America. Sorry, Canucks, but being America-Lite and mispronouncing the word “about” does not a national identity make.

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