Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wall Street Scrooges Live the Dream (DS)

We had a dream….. and in that dream we saw the ghosts of Dot.Com’s executives from Christmas past visiting the Wall Street Executive Scrooges of today. The ghosts of Dot.Com showed the Ebenezers of Wall Street that it really wasn’t so bad living on 8 weeks of unemployment, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, and having only $9.28 in their wallets to hold them over for the next 5 days until their unemployment check arrives.

As the Scrooges were shown their future, they could see that it soon wouldn’t matter they were made to join the ranks of all the other discards from a collapsed high rollin’ past because not only would they have the fanciest (and latest) computer models with all the ergonomic accoutrements, they’d also have high speed internet and the Monster Job Board.

And then we woke up and realized this was no dream, it was a nightmare, but whose nightmare?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Who Will Be King?

The financial winter storm has arrived early this century and here we sit, alone and exposed, on the side of the road with not even a mink coat to keep us warm. Tire jack in hand, we finally pulled out the Bear Stearns doughnut tire and made that change to our front passenger-side flat without assistance. OK, so it’s time to hobble slowly back onto the highway and try to navigate D.C.’s new 2-lane Donner Pass, when what do we see in the rear view mirror, coming up from behind and seemingly out of nowhere? Two large white vehicles fast approaching at lightning speed; each driver blindly focused on its hot pursuit of the other and clearly oblivious to us or their surroundings.

Our heads spin, like Daddy Warbucks (see definition below) spending his last $5 billion, while we watch the White SUV zoom past us on the left leaving the White Minivan (see definition below) jammed up behind us. Imagine our surprise to see Bernanke, at the helm of the White SUV, swerve vigorously to block the side-swiping maneuver of Paulson in the White Minivan. Although Benny appeared to be confident about his lead in this amazing race, Hank’s face clearly reflected a distinct mask of determined victory. We were trapped in the middle and afraid for our future, afraid for our lives. Before eating their dust entirely, we had to pull over once again, this time to catch our breath.

In a state of complete disbelief at the steeplechase we’ve just witnessed, we feel compelled to ask the very question one would ask when the unbelievable has just occurred: what could possibly be in our blind spot now that we don’t see coming?

A casual backward glance in the rear view mirror gives us a glimpse of another time, long, long ago….. back to the Salem witch hunt days of the 1690’s when the stored rye crop used for making the community’s bread developed mold, and those who consumed the bread it produced began hallucinating. In the acid-trip-like psychosis and subsequent hysteria that ensued, accusations began to fly and innocent bodies burned.

Snapping our attention back to today, we never cease to be surprised at how history repeats itself because we’re seeing it happen all over again. Except this time, the Moldy Old White Breads (MOWBs – see definition below) have begun eating each other alive causing similar mold-induced hallucinations. They’re seeing illusions in their side-view mirrors that only their fervent elite supporters can also see; fingers are pointing and accusations are flying.

What innocents will be burned at the stake while the two (appointed, but not elected) Cannibals decide who will be King?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Whiplashed or Bush-Whacked?

Wow! What a week!! Driving down our free-market super highway which had been predictably constructed for over 200 years, we hit a sink-hole that rocked our world; blew out the tires, cracked our windshield and took us over the edge into darkness. We hardly had a chance to even glance in the rear view mirror as we were going down.

At this point, we find it necessary to get out of the car to assess the damage, and there was no Bernanke Towing Service or Bail-Me-Out Bond in sight. So now what? We’re sitting on the side of the road, with not a Thomas Jefferson nickel to our name (maybe because 3.5 million of them were in a rollover pile-up in Jeb’s state of mind, aka Florida), to ponder how on earth did this happen to our “Wild West” capitalistic approach to world economics?

Given the frantic pace with which our old world economy is dying, it’s obvious we won’t be able to hang around too long on the side of this road because while it may be promised, it doesn’t appear that anyone will be along any time soon to help us out. Not really, even though we thought we had insurance coverage for all of this. Seems the best option right now would be to just get out the jack, change our own tire, and get a-movin' on down the road – doughnut tire, shattered windshield and all.

The windshield was indeed cracked in two which makes us believe that we have definitely come to a fork in the road. Do we go left, or do we go right? Looking in the rear view mirror, we can certainly see the global Red Shield’s trend-setting re-positioning, and the overall direction moving toward privatizing profit and socializing liability. Has this been the plan all along? The bigger question still is what larger, long-term, and all-encompassing international strategy is moving into place?

Looking to the right, what do we see? A probable re-construction of major portions of the free-market super highway with perhaps a new bridge (economic re-shuffling) allowing the MOWBs (see definition below) to continue to run the world on our tank of gas, and with our permission no less, over the next 4 years.

Looking to the left, what do we see? The probable dissemination and/or restructuring of the mystery known as our Federal Reserve within the next 3 years into more transparent and separately managed sectors, thus providing us with a healthier 'checks and balances' atmosphere.

What will you invest in and which direction will you choose to avoid being “Bush-Whacked” (see definition below)?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What We Learn From a Bus Ride

There are moments in our lives that can, if we allow them, give us pause for deep reflection. These moments typically occur while moving through the simplest, most mundane tasks of our daily routines.

So maybe we are not world leaders. Maybe we feel insignificant and that what we do or how we treat others in the day-to-day doesn't matter. Who's taking care of us, right? If the experience below has any influence whatsoever at a personal level, then maybe it's a good time to have a re-look at our value systems and our role within the human walk.

This email came on August 5, 2008 from a very dear friend who has been living in San Francisco for more than 12 years. The email subject line read “what we learn from a bus ride”

Yesterday on a Van Ness St. bus, a woman sitting just behind the bus driver decided to "take charge." Tourists from abroad, as well as locals, were crowding the front of the bus and not moving to the back where there was more than ample room, as well as occupying seats designated for seniors and the disabled which are located at the front of the bus behind the driver.

The woman was black, slim, older, used a cane, etc. She told everyone that they had to stand behind the yellow line and then asked others to move back, but was ignored. Her remarks were priceless and although serious, I’d wished that I had only been observing a comedy sequence on "Mad TV", and not witnessing this in real life.

Two couples in their mid-30's to 40’s got this from her: “OK, so maybe you don't understand English, but common sense is universal and so is this Mutha f*cker, so look at my finger and see that as I speak it's pointing to the back. Mutha f*ckers move back!"

Three teenage, local white boys just stood there and laughed, so she told them that they had better listen to her because not only could she cuss them out, but she'd take them all on and ram her cane up their asses if that's what it took to get the right response.

She referred to a black 20-something-year-old as "n*gger boy" when she reprimanded him.

She told a British guy that he understood what the signs said, and he just stared at her and would not move. So she told him that in this country a black man can get shot at just for lookin' at a white woman, so if he did not stop lookin' at her and move his ass to the back of the bus she would beat the livin’ crap out of his frail, little mutha f*ckin’ frame.

When a legless lady tried to board in her wheelchair and nobody moved it was beyond anything cruel I could ever have imagined. This outspoken woman stood up, grabbed that cane, and started to ram it through the pants of the guys standing and blocking the invalid. I began to wonder who was crazier or more disturbed, the woman or the uncaring, oblivious, bastards just standing there.

Yes, I finally got involved. I told people to get off of the bus so a wheelchair could get on, and actually had to push a bit to accomplish it.

This woman was seriously over the top, but everything she was angry about was justifiable. People have become heartless, too many of them. A few even replied about the legless woman in the wheelchair: "let her wait for the next bus, it should be right behind this one." The black woman “in charge” went nuts and said, "mutha f*ckers all of yuh, don't want to be inconvenienced by someone who got no legs”, and kept repeating obscenities.

She told the white guys they were n*ggers even though their skin was white and that their mammas were all whores because they behaved like sons of bitches.

OMG...if we just look and listen and are not living in a state of denial, this was a major realization that we have to fend for ourselves and for others who cannot. In a period of 25 minutes I was exposed to far too many people of varied races, cultures, and age groups whose hearts beat only for themselves. It should never have to take an angry and seemingly “psycho person” to take control of what is right.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Welcome Aboard! And Don't Forget Your Seatbelts.

Let’s face it. Things are looking pretty scary out there and the media isn’t bringing peace of mind to the world. It’s times like these that make late night comediennes a primary news source for more of the population than CNN may like to admit since humor seems to be the most palatable way for the everyday human to digest it all without falling apart.

This blog is an evolution of more than two decades of lengthy phone conversations (especially given the fact that the two of us haven’t even lived in the same state since the late 80’s and thankfully Verizon has an in-calling plan) about philosophy, current events, the past-the present-the future, and the state of the world at large through the filters of our personal experiences and our independent (and quite unrelated) professional disciplines.

Throughout the decades, we have shared many personal changes of the unusual kind: marriages, children, divorces, deaths, parental challenges, financial duress (including the loss of our 401Ks), and believe our unique interpretations may offer slanted insight and perhaps a different approach to these historic economic times.

What we know about ourselves is that we are risk takers. We are masters of observation and we are visionaries. We are ahead of things in one blink and then stop to scratch our heads because it seems we’ve been left behind in the next. We call that gas and brakes. We have a similar and somewhat dry, twisty sense of humor which has proven essential to our mental and emotional survival. And we believe that most of us do the very best we can each and every day.

We invite you to ride along with us as we give you our visions from the rear view mirror, and of course from the side mirrors on occasion.

The artwork and illustrations published on this website that have been produced and copyrighted by Artist, KA Collins may not be reproduced without the expressed, written permission of the artist and is strictly prohibited. As for the rest of our content, all rights reserved. ©