Thursday 25 September 2008

George "Bail-ey"

If all the world is a stage, there are an awful lot of leading players relatively unaware that there is a show going on and, still, those aware enough to feel the heat of the footlights on their faces in time to deftly don their comedy/tragedy masks have forgotten a basic tenet of dramedic performance: Listening.

Sounds easy enough: I hear, therefore I listen. But it's not that simple. How many times have you found yourself in the middle of "listening" to someone, even nodding your head in affirmation, only to realize that you'd be fucked if your counterpart were to ask you for your opinion on what they'd just been saying?

Now, compound that with the awareness of being observed by the critical masses and you've got a much bigger problem on your hands. Many a director are happy if you don't knock over any props.

As is the case with the Senator from Arizona's campaign director, I imagine. A confident actor he doesn't have, and listening is likely one of the least of his performance skills; but that's okay, because his counterpart - for want of a better description - is only more adept at acting like he is listening. Not a lot better can be said of the rest of us, either.

On the living stage one must pay very close attention to detail. One must observe in all it's minutiae not only the intention of oneself and others, but the potential consequences of unintended circumstances as well. Therefrom arises the observation that intentions might be the least of our worries. So why listen at all? Fair question. Let's just say that you can't enjoy the story otherwise.

So if you're following one version of this particular story, you might have come to the conclusion that THE FED ("dum-dum-dummmmm!") is trying to get THE CONGRESS ("wah-wah-wah") to push through as quickly as possible an emergency bailout plan for THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM ("cling-shhhht-splash-chinggg.. ..whoopwhoopwhoop").

Moreover, if we try to follow the intention of said Fed, the gravest urgency is being expressed in such a way that we might conclude that we are being rushed into action so that we don't think this through thoroughly. Could it really be that we're being hoodwinked into another war of sorts, complete with threats of the equivalent WEAPONS O' MASS DESTRUCTION ("ahhh, the something unthinkable!") and the end of our way of life for a long, long time? Oh dear no. That would be paranoid. But maybe. Hmm. Panic. Hmmm. Enter the heroes, our Lord Protectors!

Whew, the Congress is listening! Or so it would seem. They are saying all of their lines right on cue, and in doing so aren't going to let this one finish without, at least, a second act.

So if we're going to shower those awful, ultra-wealthy miscreants with money, we're gonna make damn sure that it doesn't enable their adding to that ultra-wealth! Here with their children's piggy banks! Now, we can make sure our property is protected, and that we - the not so wealthy - can one day live to be able to dream of a day when - if we work hard enough (or not, maybe!) - we might be able to dream of being relatively wealthy one day too! Hurray for the middle class!

As a matter of personal disclosure, I'd like to mention that I've never planned on seeing my "$200 and something a month if I retire now" social security money, let alone the amount I'd get when I'm sixty or seventy whatever; I've long planned to work 'til I'm dead. I'm sure that'll be the retirement age when I'm sixty-five anyway.

Those with expansive knowledge of the workings of the market say that the impending failure of enough financial institutions if we do nothing to avert that disaster would lead to that which they can't be bothered to describe. Let's just call it a prolonged recession. Oh, woe is us who know so little woe! But regular folks out there are hurtin'!

So what's the big deal? The bulk of a trillion dollars is gonna be shuffled around so that it doesn't evaporate into thin air - or something to that effect - creating a crisis of a proportion to be realized after serious speculation and panic.

(Everybody not only pretends that they are listening, they pretend to understand as well. I remember one time when I was on acid I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if one day we all found out that nobody was paying attention to the numbers?" That is, we all assumed somebody else was watching out for us? Funny, ha ha.)

Okay, so what is the worst that could happen if we pay up? You mean, we'll be in this thing for a greater amount than we had been before? What are they gonna do, take our money away? Chip us? Ration our food? That's conspiracy talk an' I aint havin' any of it! Baby steps.

So the Democrats in Congress are listening to the electorate and they are paying attention to the numbers. Hehe. Funnier still, is that they were listening enough to come to the conclusion that this bailout isn't an immediate-action urgency, as is being claimed.

So they didn't buckle under the pressure to act now "Act now!" Paulson's pleas didn't do it (why is the plan from the Treasury guy repeatedly described as the Fed's?), and the fact that the President was going to address the nation last night sure as hell wasn't gonna light a fire under their collective asses. He's hardly a threat (hence, no need to impeach, after-all).

But if we were listening closely enough, we might've noticed the panic rippling through the Congress when McCain said he was suspending his campaign. Hmm. That bastard might be on to something. Na, it couldn't work. Hmmm. Oh my God, we might lose!! Let's pass this thing!

So they were listening, and I suppose many of us as well. But what we heard was, "I'll do anything to get elected." instead of, "I'd do anything to see this bill passed."