Friday, May 22, 2009

Should we acknowledge the economic collapse?

This is a hard post for me. I, like most, have been trying to be "positive" by "ignoring" our economic situation. Back when I was living on my sailboat (this past winter) I would listen to the Glenn Beck radio show each morning at 9 AM. Sometimes I simply had to turn OFF that program. It was too depressing. Glenn would firmly state the need for us to prepare ourselves, to gather canned food and clean water in storage, to get our money out of the stock market, to buy gold, to save, to prepare for the coming Great Depression.

I couldn't listen to it sometimes. I'd turn Glenn off, turn on some hard rock, and play my electronic chess game.

...And now here I am, subcontracting at Disney in Orlando again, and everything seems fine, lots of customers, like always, everything's cool. But I follow the news. And after some hopeful signs this spring, I am suddenly struck by a sense of fear again. Anyone else feel this way? ...I wonder, I fear, I don't know what to do...

Well, this is what I'm figuring-out: Let's face it. Let us face the possibility that our great nation is, simply, coming to an end. ...Wow, that's dramatic. Crazy. Crazy crazy crazy insane.

But let me put it this way: as I look things over, I feel as if we're on the precipice of an ugly slope.

I remember, I remember...Years ago I was a ski bum. I would work the winters up in the Rocky Mountains, and ski during my off days. It was beautiful. But there was fear. There'd be beauty, and there'd be fear. I'd ski a slope, nice and easy, and then it'd get a bit steep, a challenge, but beautiful. Yet then I'd lose all sense of beauty: I'd reach a too too steep section, and there'd be only fear. It was strange. One moment, all was well, and then, in a flash, I'm standing befuddled atop a steep, dangerous slope... And there was no turning back. Oh, I could WAIT. I could putter about. I could look at the view, a view that was still, really, astonishingly beautiful, but the truth still oppressed me: I had to face the danger.

And our world feels the same now. We are putting-off the inevitable, that steep dangerous slope with all these bailouts and purposeful ignoring. But the sooner we face our economic dilemma, the better, I'm thinking. We must face it, and stop burying our heads in "positive thinking" or "hope."

I know that sounds brutal, and perhaps some will again accuse me of melancholy. Right they are! I am melancholy. As Woody Allen says, "Life is full of misery, anguish, and horror, and ends much too soon." (I paraphrase.) MEANING lies in the moments of clarity and courage.

So I propose THIS:


It is quite likely that all we know is collapsing around us. Let us not be ostriches. Let us lift our heads from the sand and observe. Let us observe the beauty, and let us observe the steep slope.

Perhaps we will lose our homes. Perhaps we will be hungry. But we have our friends, and we have our families. And friendship is the most powerful political entity man knows. Friendship cures the ill of oppression, and heals the violent emotion of failed familial history and impulse.

And I came across this video today. I knew of this man (Gerald Celente) and his claims before, but now I feel strong enough to face it. And he, obviously, is not the only one forecasting gloom, but he is perhaps the most celebrated pessimist of our time. Unfortunately, he has a history of accuracy:

POSTSCRIPT: ...I mean...Let's see...I am not saying this Great Depression WILL CERTAINLY happen. What I'm saying is, we should start preparing for it. I know, I said "likely." But what I really mean is "quite possibly." He should face the real possibility of the event. I haven't been, but I'm trying to now. That's all...

Oh, and one more observation. A Great Depression doesn't necessarily mean the end of the nation, of course. (Although doomsday scenarios exist.) In fact, such an economic downturn would still find 3 out of 4 people working, likely, and life would go on, and Disney would likely keep going, and people would keep going on vacation, and caricatures and portraits will still be wanted. "The End" is likely much too pessimistic a tone, realistically speaking.

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