Monday, January 12, 2009

Is This Really Necessary?

2008 was the brillo pad that scoured away preconceived notions of how the world should work.

Swindled pensions, plummeting home values, mass layoffs, the fresh memories of $4 gas make one question the things Americans have traditionally envied, strove for and worshipped. Just a few examples:

- Cheap consumer goods and lots of them, designed under a business plan of planned obsolesence
- The American dream of "owning" a 8,000-square-foot home with no money down
- Driving everywhere, one to a vehicle
- Lush green golf courses in the deserts of Arizona (truly, WTF?)

Stuff that made one wonder...

Is This Really Necessary?

While living overseas in less developed countries, the contents of two small suitcases and shelter of a small non-air conditioned room served me very well for nearly a year. The people around me reused margarine tins, traveled by crowded buses and cooked over propane stoves - yet seemed far happier than some of the people I've seen in Washington's wealthiest neighborhoods.

Then I started to trade US Weekly on the treadmill for the Economist and notice the risks, vulnerabilities and repercussions related to the accumulation and redistribution of this wealth. Oil, CMOs, Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme... As we speak, China owns a big chunk of the U.S. economy and Ukraine is holding much of Europe's natural gas hostage in contract dispute. Meanwhile a pile of garbage twice the size of Texas is floating somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

A bit weird, a bit scary. And these observations began even before I started watching "Armageddon Week" on the History Channel.

Obviously a lot of things ARE necessary...

...the infamous CHANGE being foremost. Our new fearless leader, The Honorable Mr. Barry O, has got his work cut out for him. The Oprahs, Bonos and big corporations of the world have gotten onto the bandwagon - sone genuinely, others disingenuously.

But I digress...

In honor of a new year in a weird world...frivolity, travelogues and gratuitous bobblehead imagery will be joined by this new feature of regular observations and rants. "Is this really necessary?" - a new series of intermittant posts. Stay tuned...


At 6:22 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

I thought Russia is holding the gas hostage by not releasing it for transport, and that Ukraine is merely the country to and through which Russia sends its gas.


Post a Comment

<< Home