Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hey You Guys!

guest-posted by Armadillo Joe

Howdy, Blog-O-Maniacs!

Your favorite rabble-rousing cowboy hippie is here once again. Mr. The Broadway Carl has asked me to mind his store for a few days while he and The Mrs. galavant about the country, visiting historic places and family and the like. Happy to help, sez I, but these people like to talk. Or, uh, read and type. How shall I keep them interested enough to ensure that you will still have a readership by the end of next week?

So much pressure.

Well, while Broadway Carl is away, these mice shall play! Whatever shall we talk about? So many topics, so little time. So much going on in this country, in the world. Octo-moms or whether Katherine Heigl will stay with "Grey's Anatomy" or not are important subjects, but I'm guessing not the principle reason most of you folks make this a semi-regular stop on your inter-web meanderings. Now, while I'm always as political as the next guy -- particularly the guy who runs this'n here website -- I'm not always engaged in the particular he-said/she-said's of any given political moment. Though in Michelle Bachman's case, I'm willing to make an exception.

Which is not to say that I won't highlight how much I enjoy some schadenfreude at the expense of our dim-witted opponents in the Party of "No." John "Cray-Baby" Boehner's pathetic "budget proposal" press conference this past week was just too darned precious not to snicker about. I just also, within the realm of serious-topics-we-all-should-be-worried-about, try to find time for bigger picture stuff without getting bogged down in the daily blow-by-blow of political combat.

But, Joe? Whatever do you mean?

For instance, I don't just want to talk about how deeply angry the AIG bonuses make me (which is so-o-o-o-o-o-o, like, last week already -- positively pre-historic in blogging-time) but I want to talk about the way our government (as a reflection and the real-world implementation of our underlying cultural values) reinforces certain economic inequities and social injustices, either by malicious intent or benign neglect, and that as a result the system of work and reward in this country is wildly out of whack. The sense that the bonuses -- orders of magnitude larger than the lifetime earnings of many Americans -- were even morally and socially acceptable after the company dispensing them received tax-payer money to the tune of 80% of the value of the company to even keep the doors open when so many people have been cruelly and heartlessly rendered unemployed, homeless or both or even worse, the complete lack of a sense of shame on the part of the people taking the bonus money, even as "Bushville" tent cities sprout like mushrooms across this country, is indicative of a deeper sickness in our national soul.

Or, I don't just want to talk about the exploded housing bubble and how it is such a damned shame that all those greedy banksters were able to dispense all those questionable loans willy-nilly with no apparent repercussions now that it has blown back on them and the rest of the country, but I want to also talk about how the housing bust is itself also a good thing that finally neutralized a burgeoning problem because of what we as a nation have actually been building these last ten, twenty, thirty or forty or more years of frenzied construction, that we have been building the wrong kinds of houses in the wrong kinds of cities that destroy good lands in the worst possible ways for the long-term health of ourselves and the planet we and all our descendants will have to live on for the rest of our lives. It's the only planet we'll ever get, and we haven't taken very good care of it so far.

Or, I don't want to just talk about our energy policy in this country, lamenting how we use too much petroleum, but I want to discuss alternatives -- not just the hybrid cars Obama and Co. fetishize as a panacea to rescue our struggling automakers -- but a world with fewer cars in it altogether and what that means for transportation options here and abroad not just for middle class commuters, but for all of us rich and poor and what impact our country's transportation policy has on social justice.

Stuff like that, ya know.

What do you guys want to talk about? Have I bored you yet?


ZenYenta said...

Oh, talk mass transit to us armadillo joe. Sometimes, late at night, when I'm sure I'm alone, I close my eyes and fantasize about a bus system that work here in Suffolk County, NY. Not only would it be good for the environment, but that one thing alone would make life less economically precarious for people without a lot of money, and it would make it just plain less precarious for people who really shouldn't be driving and for the people they hit. Go ahead...tantalize us.

Armadillo Hussein Joe said...

I'm working on a post right this very minute about trains and our nation's pitiful rail network and how we can change our thinking about rail travel in this country.

Just to tantalize you.