Posted by: Sleepbot ZZ 0.94 | 2009/01/20

This Economic Climate

i have a flexible schedule :) these days, and i like to watch CNBC in the morning, at least until the market bell rings at 1p PST. it’s very entertaining to see the financial pundits trying to, well, entertain the viewers while we all watch the lemmings of Wall Street goes through their bouts of panic and temper tantrums

however, it is clear that there is at least one consistent message : anything is justifiable these days, given This Economic Climate. massive job slashing, foreclosed property redistribution, Congressional bail-outs of the porn industry — all are sensible responses to This Economic Climate. yeah, if that last example’s funny once, it’ll be funny a million times

so, am i the only person (besides mr. Flynt) who thinks that This Economic Climate is being pushed, like, really hard. i mean, doesn’t it feel branded. as if someone is making a profit off of being the one who emphasises the most strongestest about how how terrible things really are? how this is the Worst it’s been since the Depression. how America Will Never Be The Same. you can literally see the news orgs as they scramble to out-pessimist each other

we live in a Media driven age. but doesn’t it feel like we’re all being driven towards some sort of cliff or something. because i mean, boy, back in late September, there sure was plenty of open grazing land to go around. we were all a warm & happy & prosperous flock. yet four months later, This Economic Climate requires that we all herd ourselves here onto this precipice. “yes, it’s cold and windy here too, so watch your footing. and, no, don’t turn around and look down. you’ll get dizzy, and might fall. no, don’t look. you remember what happened to the last guy who did that. no, i said don’t. i said …

“oh dear.” tonight on CNN Special Report : The Sheep Who Looked Down. perhaps Nancy Grace could switch to focusing on that story for a couple of times a week. “see, that’s exactly what we’ve been warning everyone about. now, be careful that you don’t slip on the rocks here near the ledge. and whatever you do, don’t look down …”

and in its speed and fury, This Economic Climate has permitted, no fostered, no demanded a rapid and significant psycho-cultural shift. the Media has now raised it to the front-and-center of our collective consciousness. everyone has heard of it, and everyone understands how This Economic Climate is expected to affect them

thus revealed, it can become a justification, a sensible excuse, a pragmatic discretionary decision, to be leveraged when appropriate. massive $700B hand-outs here, budget cuts there, terminations of employees and pensions. all very large and dramatic moves that weren’t in any way justifiable four months back. but now we’re in This Economic Climate, and well, you know …

how rapidly things change in this Media-driven society. how reactive we are allowed to become. how permissible it has become to seek out anything to alleviate the pain — layoffs, hand-outs, pork-barrel infrastructure projects — and the quicker the fix the better. because like they tell us, This Economic Climate is here and it has a message and you are not going to like it

i mean, this has got to be fear-mongering at its best! does anyone else feel that same sort of overall chthonic vibe being layed down on us now, as it was when seven years ago we the Media suddenly realized that the terrorists were real, and we weren’t immune to them anymore? a radically different event — but it’s that same message of unassaliable, almost federally-mandated, fear

sure, like 9/11, this is indeed a real crisis. our banking institutions gave out ridiculously structure housing loans, and we took advantage of a better-greased opportunity to slide into the American Dream. silly people like Them setting up poorly-conceived investments, goofy people like Us living too far beyond our means

but the message of fear, that’s adding insult to injury

sure we can’t really blame the Media, because every eyeball kept is a dollar earned. moreover, This Economic Climate is new and it is distractingly shiny, so it’s going to be leveraged as such, like fresh Bradgelina triplets. then we reinforce the Media’s button-pushing with our reactions, and when it sees us jump, it simply tries to find out how high. that’s what it does

we as a people need to understand that This Economic Climate is as much a product of real circumstances and events, as it is a product of what we’re being told by our trusted authorities of information. they’ve long since wandered off the path of pure Journalism into realms of Entertainment. and we as consumers have allowed this, probably because Bread and Circuses are still an excellent way to distract a crowd … i mean, this consumer here likes his food & spectacles as much as the next person too

and in This Econcomic Climate, who doesn’t need a little distraction

but be wary. we’re good people, all of us, but we’ve all been pushed back up against the cold, wet, windy ridge of this cliff and the tension is being kept high. that sort of fear will trigger Survival Mode, which will divide us and lead to impetuous self-protective decisions

we are still very fortunate. it is wonderful to see that there are strong counter-influences out there. our new President for example, who stands proudly on the political pulpit and exhorts us to come together, work together. these are wise and inspiring words, the sort of tones that inspire cooperation, not fragment it

and there’s Drake Bennett. he wrote a great article on what a mondern-day Depression might look like. what i found that struck me the most about this artice was how measured it was. no doom, no gloom. just pragmatic insight. as in, maybe things really aren’t going to get that dreadfully bad

shocking words, yes, i know, to find that the sky isn’t falling around you, unlike that someone with a bullhorn and press credentials over there who’s insisting that it is

don’t believe all the negative hype. don’t let those turkeys get you down. i’ve heard it on good authority that we will indeed rise above

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