Sunday, January 15, 2012

Where’s the Goose?

To question the free market, look no further than the Reagan era, when the air controller’s union got busted and the workers began getting cross-eyed looking at the screens.  Junk bonds promised cures, insurance companies sold or lost their base and the game became suck the cash out of Paradise and toss the human refuse we “dearly care for” in the trash.

Add Global Economy, NAFTA Folly, endless warfare and this Alaskan Transparency, mimed perfectly on Saturday Night Live, with America’s children prepping “Whatever” bips their ears, crotches, ears and snoots, while John Wayne’s Washington, with lung cancer on the horizon, buys it off with, “So What” and a smirk.

To paraphrase John Nichol's character in, The Magic Journey, all you do is create a whole bunch of issues that don’t exist and get everybody running around not knowing their butt from a hole in the ground and then you do what you want.

When companies buy each other out like over the counter elixers, when mortgages sell like popcorn during intermission and banks smell like loan sharks in Bailout Alley, or one drives a Hummer with a $28,000 a year salary, could there possibly be a shark in the tank? 

The Dow drops 500 points? My niece says her friends are not concerned about the war or the economy.  As long as they have a credit card, there is no need for concern.  Such gracious fodder for the rip-off geniuses who plan privatization and genuflection of free market enterprise while they take off the condoms and cook grandchildren for the next slaughter, fiasco and Dubai suite they can park in,  written off and charged to the tax-friendly hordes we have turned out to be.

Investor, Phillip Wilber Ross, who recently “fixed” the problem at ISG. stated he was once a would-be writer.  When asked if he would ever return to writing he replied,” I have trouble enough with the facts, let alone trying to deal with fiction.”

Obviously he is not alone.  America has spun into such a far-fetched tale, even the fairy godmother, who knows the carriage turns into a pumpkin at midnight, won’t tell Cinderella that the shoe won’t fit forever, unless she gets the facts straight and her house in order. 

A woman told me she bought a goose down pillow at Macy’s.  That night she dreamed blood appeared on the pillow.  The goose was alive.  It frightened her so that she took the pillow back to the store for a refund.  While she was bargaining with the sales clerk, the pillow began honking and running among the bedding, knocking over displays and finally disappearing in the dream, in which she got her refund, but the next night, just before she fell asleep, she thought of the goose and she wondered where it went. 

What strange characters we have become in this plot of loss, this miscue, this slow descent, this hero’s truth, smitten with no sacrifice, no commitment and no allegiance.  In the film, Return of the Jedi, the hero asserts that he is not afraid to descend into the unknown.  The Jedi replies, “You will be.” 

One might add to this tale, “Welcome to America and if you see a live goose amidst the bedding, please let America know.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Who Sold the Rabbit in the Hat to Uncle Sam?

Place your hand over you heart.  Remember the stern-faced Uncle Sam pointing right at you?   “Uncle Sam Wants You.” He wanted you to join the armed forces.  He told you that America needed you. He had a thousand parades to march in and a red white and blue suit to flap in the ever-search for clients who needed guns, and an army to shoot them a country to use them in.  Needless to say, he hasn’t t run out of clients

Ole Sam began pointing in more fruitful times, when the world spun wars that cooked kids for din din, experimented with their organs and fried 600,000 with a single bomb.  But folks don’t just sign up for every invasion, rocket lobbing contest or semi-war anymore.  As Jimmy Carter said, 95.5 % of the American population isn’t sacrificing.  Yes, Sam certainly is pointing, but the flag suit loses face these days, especially when we see it draped over coffins.  It makes one wonder what Sam really had in mind. 

To be a fair, a few patriotic survivors stand along Main Street in front of the empty storefronts, the blank theater marquees, the silent mills, the Mom and Pops stores with the outdated pinball machines tucked out back.  The adults give Sam a little credence and the children seem fidgety The bands stride by, maybe three bands this year from the usual high schools, the baton twirlers, fresh and ready,  toss clips of innocence and ecstasy at the sky; let’s  say Troy, New York, a clutch of rototillers spin down Sixth Avenue.  Why’s there’s old Elmer.  Still at it.  Shaved the mustache.  You’d think he’d retire.  Worked there how many years?.  Got hooked up with that woman who works for the government over in Albany.  Helluva guy.  Down the block he walks, with the rest of the tough guys and gals of the time, the time now running out toward the Hudson River a block away.  

Why here comes Uncle Sam, because Troy is Uncle Sam’s home, so this must be the real Uncle Sam lumbering by, waving to the thin crowd, bringing perhaps a momentary silence between distant drum beats, which as the poet Bob Kaufman said, is the must because, to paraphrase, without the silence there is no drum, there is no beat.

Uncle Sam marches on amidst this fantastic orgy beyond the parade, where these days, fingers point to selves.  “I am me” cries everywhere.  Uncle Sam’s finger seems stiff, an arthritis, or a thrombosis with odds that the heart of America may stop, or at least beat irregularly through the body we so dearly love.