Opinions and Rants #44

Our fridges are still stocked, and no one enjoys a meal out more than an American.  Problem is, the fridge is on credit, and both parents have to work to pay the grocery bill.  Plus, living paycheck to paycheck means that any unforeseen expense (i.e. a busted transmission) gobble up your grocery money.

This isn't everyone.  But there's a growing number of people who've fallen behind the "paycheck to paycheck" cycle - hence, the booming business of "title for cash" shops.  I travel a good deal in my profession, and I see whole swaths of cities turning into pawn shops, dollar stores, and title for cash shops. The symptoms of a populace in the red.

The Good Life at only 23 percent interest

What's our lovable nanny state doing to keep this ship afloat? For one, it's borrowing at an unprecedented rate.  The roads, the unemployment checks, the drones, the foreign aid - all on the USA's Diner's Club card. And it's all predicated on the assumption that "we're good for it".  That loaning the US money at high interest is a sound business decision because..... we're the US of A.

But there's cracks in the foundation.  A Fourth Estate with a celebrity fetish.  A citizenship placated by bread and circuses.  A legislative branch bought and paid for at wholesale prices.  A treasury built on I.O.U.s. And companies in a race to the bottom - a mass exodus to cheaper and cheaper labor.

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

I focus on the United States because that's where I live.  But, truth be told, it's not all sunshine and lollipops across the pond either.  The European economy is no prize. Spain is auctioning off its museums and airports, Greece has taken to the streets, and even the big guns like France are faltering.  Scandinavia, with all their enviable social services and immaculate quality of life, is broke.

Meanwhile, the Middle East is the very definition of a powder keg.  Down the Silk Road a stretch, India and Pakistan both have itchy trigger fingers hovering shakily above the big red button.

I could go on endlessly about world problems, but what's the point? There's plenty of radio personalities who make a healthy living belching up dire predictions.  But their armchair prophesies just add to the cacophony; nothing changes.  The airwaves are full of gloom and doom but nothing changes, so what's the point?

Drink up.  The end is near.
 First, let's clear up a misconception that somehow things are oh-so-much worse than they've ever been. Only a couple dozen years before yours truly was born, the world could easily have fallen under Nazi rule. And well into the eighties, the threat of nuclear extinction was a very real threat. In the seventies, Cambodia conducted one of the worst genocides in history.... indeed, the 20th century was the bloodiest century since the Dawn of Man. I'm not a history scholar, but in terms of lives lost in bloody conflicts, we beat out even the Mongolian invasions.

As much as I grumble, I wouldn't trade my Swiffer Wet Jet for a feudal serf's plow.  Things are grim, yet life expectancy is high and things could easily turn around for the better.

It beats being an indentured slave to a feudal lord
I suppose it's easy to get caught up in the depressing prophesies of doom; but in the end it's a monumental waste of time worrying about it.  We are humans, so we have a finite life span, and are prone to killing each other on a grand scale.  Them's the facts.   The key is to focus on the good things in life and stop worrying about the inevitable.

These people that spend their lives preparing for the Apocalypse (what are they called? "preppers"?) are just acting out their anxiety and control issues.  I remember the Y2K scare and how it fizzled into thin air like all the other predictions of the End Times.  Their time would be better served taking that energy and focusing it on making a change - instead of this selfish desire to hunker down and survive.  If you've seen the The Road, you know that surviving ain't all it's cracked up to be.

"When the starving women and children come for your Doritos, make sure the safety is off."
So, where has this rant left me?  Like all rants and ravings about how bad things are, they eventually leave you no better off.  You can kid yourself that you're somehow prepared for the financial collapse by hoarding gold ingots in your crawlspace.  You can kid yourself that you're somehow prepared for the societal meltdown by stocking up on Ramen noodles and Pop Tarts.

But, in the end, I think you're better off just playing some Foghat and taking the punches that life throws your way.

Gilligan has spoken.


  1. Ditto. Well said, Gilligan.

  2. This is awesome, "But, in the end, I think you're better off just playing some Foghat and taking the punches that life throws your way."

  3. Great rant! Time to break out the Foghat!

  4. What is a "title for cash" shop? Is that like those sleazy check cashing places? A for dollar stores, I used to like them back when they were repositories for all manner of odds and ends from factory closeouts, fire sales, etc. Now they are all identical, with the same boring merchandise in each one, made in China specifically for dollar stores. No fun.

  5. Well ranted my friend. You are invited to "pack up your troubles" and move in with me, here on the Central Coast down under. Sun,sand and a coupla beers!! The happy folk in the last pic have it all under control.Foghat? dunno, i`ll settle for The Boppers (sweden).
    BTW:Love the moniker SUZY8-TRACK.

  6. You are a wise and thoughtful wizard

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  8. ....Take it EEEEEZEEEEH!

  9. Suzy 8-Track. Great name. I have been looking for a name for my band. I may have just found it.

  10. Since everyone else's post is so happy to agree with you. This post will be omitted then. On many levels, you are wrong. You are going to let some movie make you decide not to take care of your family in a grid down scenario?
    Only idiots would stock up the wrong kind of food for even a short duration ( Ramen noodles and Pop Tarts ) get real. Since when did the primordial instinct to survive become "selfish"? You must not have children, or people that look to you for protection and security in times of peril. Or by the way you hate on radio personalities tells me you're a left wing extremist that is butt hurt that bama is loosing at the polls. Either way, when the SHTF does occur, by your lack of prepping will simply make you just another statistic that the selfish survivors stepped over.

  11. My idea of prepping is to print out every MIniSkirt Monday post and have them hermetically sealed in a fireproof box.

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