Or, alternately, there’s a sucker born every minute. Ok, the two aren’t really related, but they are in my mind. I am using a relatively shallow take on nihilism when I explain my mood today.
What dominates the news outside of the economic crisis? Stories on the OctoPussy (octuplets’ mom), failed Ponzi schemes that accrued millions and billions for the schemers (ok, that’s within the purview of money, but not of the main economic crisis), banks too big to fail and their greedy CEOs (yeah, I know, so sue me), A-Rod admitting to steroids use before it was illegal in baseball, though it was still illegal in the States, a growing consensus that W.’s admin should be investigated for wrongdoings, though we all know that no one of any importance will be unduly discomfited by the process, and a few weeks ago, there was a story about a woman, a supposed women’s studies major, who auctioned off her virginity (through The Mustang Ranch in Nevada) for three million, claiming it was a feminist statement.
I am not linking to any of these because in this instance, you can do the dirty work on your own. My point is this: I strugggle to do what I think is right on a daily basis. I donate when I can to causes I think are important; I hold the door open for people who are entering building right behind me; I am for universal health care and raising the minimum wage, and I think we would inhabit a far better world if we all looked out for each other a bit more than we do. This is a gross simplification of my beliefs, but it will suffice for now.
In other words, I am a do-gooder at heart. I am an incredibly acerbic and grumpy do-gooder, but I am a do-gooder. I believe that it’s better to boost up a fellow human being than to trample her down beneath your feet. In other words, when one succeeds, we all succeed.
However, current culture is severely testing my resolve in this belief. It might be because I’ve been so sick, but I really have had it up to here with the shallowness of our society and of media.
CEOs are complaining that if they don’t get bonuses, they will….what, stop doing the work they are paid to do? Their culture is so entrenched with entitlement, they can’t see the forest for the trees. They won’t take TARP money if salaries are capped? They would rather let their banks fail than curb their own salaries, which actually probably can’t be paid at all if the banks fail? What kind of twisted logic is that?
As for OctoPussy, I am outraged that she has set up a PayPal service to pay for her childbearing. She embodies so much of what is wrong with society today. I don’t doubt she has mental problems (indeed, they are pretty obvious), but she is also a mercenary woman who is pimping out her progeny for bucks. She’s mad because her mother got paid for an interview? Who has been supporting OctoPussy and her kids since day one? That would be Mom. I think Mom (or, Grandmom to the litter) is the only one who should be getting paid in this whole fiasco. However, it says something about us as a society that the media gush over this reproduction machine like she’s something special. If Oprah actually pays her two million dollars to be on her (Oprah’s) show, then we are all the fools for it.
Let’s not even mention Madoff and his gigantic Ponzi scheme. It’s so wide-scaled, another guy with a fifty million dollar Ponzi scheme is called a Mini-Madoff. Even if Madoff goes to jail, he will be out some day and have enough time to enjoy the billions he salted away. Or, his wife will. Or his kids.
Damn! And I even forgot for a brief moment, the ultimate grifter–Joe-the-whatever-the-fuck-he-isn’t-but-he-needs-to-go-away. He is so unworthy of the attention he is being given, it actually chaps my hide! Toss Sarah Palin in the mix and all the undeserved millions she probably will make off her name, and well, it’s enough to turn me to the dark side and renounce my do-gooder ways.
So. In my sickness and despair, I have decided that I am going to plot my own get-rich scheme. I know that I can’t go the semi-legit route of ballplayer (not male, tall, or athletic enough) or Hollywood star (too old, fat, and ethnic), ‘too big to fail’ CEO (not white or male), and I don’t want to rob a bank because someone may get hurt. To that end, what can I do to pimp myself out and make beaucoup bucks? Let’s think about it together.
I could become a highly-specialized call girl (Asian women are always in demand for this), but again, I am probably too old and fat. I could do something about the latter, but not about the former. It would be too much work, anyway. The goal is to become as rich as possible in a nefarious a way as possible without anyone getting hurt.
I could write a tell-all book about…no, that would hurt someone. I could set up my own Ponzi scheme….no, that would also hurt someone. I could sell my virginity….but that would be a lie. I’m not very comfortable with lying. I could start my own cult and fleece the members of all their worldly goods, but that would be a lot of trouble and it would hurt people.
Damn. There doesn’t seem to be a way to make obscene amounts of money without someone getting hurt in the process or without lying. I guess I will have grapple with my distaste for our general culture in a different way because I can’t seem to join it–so I have to find a way to beat it.
Addendum: I forgot to add the one truly good piece of news that dominated the media for a few weeks–Captain Sully landing the plane in the Hudson with ice in his veins. I will gladly link to the tape of his exchange with tower control.
And, I really have to agree with Eddie Izzard about the term ‘bird strike’. It really is an engine suck.