Economy in Detox – The Progressive, 1/30/2009

My nephew Paul played trumpet in his high school band and during the Christmas season they performed at nursing homes in their community. They played holiday favorites and the residents sang along. My sister Mary went to pick him up after a performance, got to the facility a little early, and decided to go in and see how the program was going.

She heard the band doing a nice job with an up-tempo favorite as she walked down the hall. The combo was cranking and the residents were chirping along at different skill levels. The seniors were a bit sketchy on some lyrics: the weather outside, frightful; the fire, so delightful; no place to go. But they all nailed the chorus in a full-throated, “Let it go, let it go, let it go.”

The chorus is not just for Christmas any more. We are all learning to let it go. Not that we have much choice. The B-School colony collapse is like Katrina without the water. Heckuva job, Georgie. Hanky. Benny. Who needs offshore pirates?

The real S&L scandal was the shredding and looting that happened in D.C. before the Bushies decamped. Oh, for the good old days when the Clinton team supposedly took the Ws off keyboards on their way out the door. Sometimes I think this recession—there I’ve said it—wasBush’s real immigration plan. Who would want to come to the U.S.? They might have to quick put a wall up at the border just to keep people in.

What we witnessed after Katrina was not only a natural and civil disaster but also a whole area of the country going through an unplanned detox at an involuntary rehab. It was not pretty. What we are experiencing in this rolling Category Ten financial disaster is an entire country going through an unplanned detox from turbo-consumerism. Flat-panel TVs, I-everythings, Uggs. Let it go, let it go, let it go.

As that GPS lady says, we are recalculating now. People are having to let go of homes, jobs, cars, health insurance, food, college, 401Ks. Earnest columns with tips on home cooking, home budgeting, layaway plans, energy saving, credit card managing, and after-the-fact coping skills appear daily.

Then along comes the Reverend Ed Young, pastor of a mega-church in Grapevine, Texas. Turns out sexiness is next to godiness. His Seven Days of Sex Challenge is a call to a week of congregational copulation to move them from “whining about the economy to whoopee.” Husbands gave a deep-throated Amen. Wives rolled their eyes to heaven. Pass the sacramental Viagra. For church singles, Ed said let them eat chocolate cake. Glucose-monitoring kits are available in the vestibule. No word on a spike in the number of kids (Ed’s acronym for them is Keeping Intimacy at a Distance Successfully) dropped off in Nebraska.

When Marital Law was declared in California, Florida, and Arizona in the November election it was a major Obama high buzzkill. Although the ballot initiatives were ostensibly about gay marriage, we declaimed it was truly about equality, justice, and human rights. I suspect our defeat was really about the unspoken ick factor of same sex.

I have always maintained that if the fundies were really se rious about curbing the abomination of gay sex they would insist gay people get married. Rev. Young, vocal crusader for same old sex, confirmed my suspicion.

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