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Joe Cool in Financial Hell
Dreamed 2009/6/15 by Wayan; Dreamverse #46
Our house is going solar. We're voting on the bids this week, so I email all the solar firms reminding them to send bids now or never...
Instant messages pop up. My ex-girlfriend Cheryl! Message after message. Obsessive. I feel stalked and don't read them, turn off the instant message option. I didn't realize the default allowed people to interrupt you like this.
Feeling shaky, I drive down to the San Mateo Highlands to pick up my sister Althea and take her to the airport. On the way, as I right turn at a stopsign, a cop tickets me for not stopping fully. The first moving violation I've had in a decade at least. Rattles me more.
Althea and I have lunch at Shiso Restaurant. She flew down to attend her daughter's graduation. Althea says "She was distant for years; I think she blamed me for dragging her away from family and friends, leaving our small town after my husband dumped me for another woman." As his wife, Althea had a stake in the family ranch, but he gave her child support only, and his family backed him up. Althea felt they quietly drove her out of town. I hadn't realized that her current poverty is partly from her deep reluctance to fight for her rights. And she worries she's doing it again in a lesser way. Loves her current husband, but he slips into debt a few thousand a year... is she liable?
I too will do anything to avoid a fight. Siblings are such embarrassingly revealing mirrors!
That ranter's drawn a listening ring--
turtlehead economist, he builds a slow
case in dismal jargon til he's clamoring
"War caused America's crash." Quite so,
but hardly news! Why natter and detail
each industry's polysyllabic slump,
when six-bit words explain no more
than Malvina Reynolds folk-sang full
forty years back in monosyllable:
"The rich feed off war
as it wrecks the lives of all
the rest of us." What more?
Our pundit plays scenes from Anemia,
a cheap Harry-Potter-clone film.
But Hogwarts here is a high school in
a Muggle district gone bankrupt. And
the monsters who chase our heroes three
from bus stop to paralyzed school
are budget-busting creditors! They drool
to squeeze blood from the students (ouch)
since Hogwarts turned so turnip. Though
"Something will always turnip!" Our heroes slip
into a stone gash. Cathedral-caverns echo ahead.
But the only path in is a rickety ledge
past pits of magma hell! Raw red
financial meltdown. Ahead, one reckless kid
falls in. Are clone-Harry, Hermione, and Ron
financially balanced enough? Looks bad...
But here comes Cool Guy in shiny shades,
on his blazoned skateboard. A Guy he is, for
Cool Girls can't (as Hollywood is sure)
balance skateboards, budgets, or lives--
too busy with their navel rings
and planning to be wives.
Through the pit Cool dives! Skates the red pool
of fire immune. Our ledge-trapped three
leap to him and cling, train-trailing weightlessly.
Oh. It's Biblical too--as Ronald Reagan knew. We
need financial hell to hound our tired poor.
But being Hollywood-mirror-cool
Teflons red financial heat!
No scandal sticks to the sunshade boys.
Now ain't that neat?
NOTES IN THE MORNING
- Jargon-spouting economist: At lunch, the sushi bar had a TV on. Some GOP mouthpiece said Obama's people have "a culture of corruption." Ooh, right, those Democrats looted the economy over the last eight years! Just hilarious...
- War drains the treasury: my friend John Claydon argues that Bush's wars are what bled the economy dry; and only peace, not budget reform, will spur recovery.
- Gender cliches, jokes about financial meltdown: my sister settled her divorce TOO amicably. He cheated, he left her, and he gets the house and pays no support? Wow. And I thought I was conflict-avoidant!
- Hogwarts, drooling capitalist monsters: well, J.K. Rowling started it by putting Hogwarts under Miss Umbridge... what a sweetie! My favorite neocon. Her American kin lack style.
- Turnip: English has a proverb on the one financial advantage of bankruptcy: "You can't squeeze blood from a turnip."
- Cave, fall into lava: not content with ripping off Rowling, the film's stolen Tolkien too! It's the Crack of Doom where Frodo must destroy the Ring--but, addicted, can't. Joe Cool is like mad Gollum, who snatches the Ring and dances in the lava abyss. I think the dream's pointing out that banks and credit companies wanted consumers addicted, deep in debt--just as Sauron seduced mortals with magic rings. Who's really to blame--addicts or pushers?
- Joe Cool skates on thin "ice": me! Won a Pell grant and got my degree with no debts; now I'm winning the house solar-energy grants. Learning financial management and grantsmanship step by step! So art-grants to publish my dream-poems and comics may be a next step. I think I'm a timid mouse, but I'm also an artist who skates the fiery face of poverty and thrives. A cool skill to have in a meltdown world.
- ACTION: Quit acting like Harry, Hermione, and Ron, clinging in terror to a ledge. Apply for scholarships and send my work to publishers. My art is cooler than I know. If idiots manage to skate the face of the meltdown, I can too.
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