10 February 2009

Can Zombies Eat the Recession?

So, i've done a good bit of writing 'outside the blog' today (this is the problem with telling people your goals, btw, you suddenly find you have people you have to justify yourself to {at least if you're a neurotic quiffler like me} and you sound less convincing than if you just assert things willy-nilly), but i felt this post was... prescient, today.

Yesterday (which we'll call Monday for the sake of argument), in a class about sovereignty & the distinction of man vs. animal vs. 'savage' Professor Peter Paik posed a question about the possibility of the end (or at least the beginning of the end) of the American economy, which is to say, and end to infinite growth of an economy based on the creation and purchase of endless amounts of stuff (i think of George Carlin whenever such a conversation arises).

Today, our United States Senate passed a Stimulus Package amounting to over $800Billion of new spending and tax cuts. And the question naturally arises, "whabuwhey?" In talking to friends and others about 'the Recession' (by which i mean talking to my TV whenever Anderson Cooper comes on), they (he) often assures me that the Economy need only get 'back on track' and then everything will go back to normal. This is troubling to me, not only because, to me, everything kind of seems normal now, and the 'track' people seem to refer to as something to shoot for is undeniably unsustainable. It seems fundamentally logical to me that an economy cannot just continue to produce more shit for people to buy, even if, for a really long time, people continue to buy it, thereby securing their own jobs at companies and organizations that are producing different shit.

It simply makes no sense. And so, i would submit, a solution that is already really quite underway. Our economy (and really the global economy) is moving toward a 'service economy'. Now unlike things, the limitation on services you can buy is only limited by time (and so, somewhere down the road, this to must fail). But i think there is some importance here in basing most of our economy on selling ephemera. Watching Movies, Seeing Tourist Attractions, Drinking Whisky (i guess, technically, a thing, but it's really the effects i think most of us purchase)

Do you see where i'm going with this? I did, but the, umm, ephemera is making me want to sleep. Mostly, i wanted to wonder aloud why it's in the interests of media corporations to report recession so uniformly. Badbadbad financial news, 'Stay-Cations', 'here's how to best get the jobs that nobody is hiring for any longer, you Sad Sack'. On the most basic level, you keep tuning in to hear the latest worst news, (and really, what else are you doing at 2 in the afternoon?) but looking one corporate level up kind of unhinges that argument. News organizations are not in the business of increasing viewership... they're in the business of helping their parentOrg make money, and telling people there isn't going to be any money left come next Tuesday every Wednesday (the 'slow' news day) kind of inhibits folks from spending money on whatever it is they're selling, no?

Anyway, "i can't figure it all out tonight, sir. I'm just gonna hang with your daughter..."

Oh, and speaking of fiscal matters. If anyone dropped some money on the floor of Curtin Hall (1st Floor, by the Central Stairwell) today (Tuesday, around noon), let me know...

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