Have any other Gen-Xers or whatever the hell people between their early thirties and early forties are called now been thinking of the song that's been playing in my head this week? The B-52s, "Rock Lobster." Ends with Fred Schneider intoning "Down, down, doooowwwwn." I keep hoping the Dow has hit the cellar. I know everyone is. I'm nervous as hell and not sleeping. I don't see how either Obama or McCain can help it. I do think that whoever wins, an end to this election will help a lot. You haven't heard any of these "experts" say that? Well, right now, I think my guess is as good as theirs.
Knock on wood, L'Ailee and I haven't been hurting that bad, except our 401(k)s are depleted at the moment. We still have our jobs. I'm still, I'm pretty sure, going to Florida to celebrate Samhain with my former coven. We're seeing a lot of hurt around us, though. L'Ailee has brought a unique motivator back to her martial arts classes--dressing up practice dummies in suits from Goodwill and putting masks representing the people who have pissed her students off onto them, even if some are just black and white paper printouts. Bam, Barack! Stay down, McCain! Take that, former CEO! How you like that, Henry Paulson? We haven't been spending very much, at least not by our standards. Maybe that's all to the good, but we wish people with more power and money than ourselves would do the same. We feel this Sword of Damocles over us. Hell, all of New York City feels it! But I've heard from my friends in Florida that the pressure's there, too.
And then there is Mike Bloomberg doing something even Giuliani could be persuaded to stop: trying for a third term. Great, just great. Here, Mike, have these civil liberties, I wasn't using them anyway.
So that's why I haven't been blogging, and why I even passed up the opportunity to crow over the beautiful and talented Tony Stewart's win at Talladega. (Finally a win this season! Finally a win for him at 'Dega! To hell with that whiny Regan Smith!) It's not because I'm mad at anybody. Not because I lost my job. Not because of Patrick, the insane spamming asshole who caused me to start moderating my comments. I just haven't felt like there's anything I can say. I mean, I'm feeling a lot, but it's what most everyone else is feeling, and what does it help to add my bit to the mix? I'm sorry I've alarmed people, and thanks to those of you who checked up on me. I need to be a better blogfriend.
The other thing is, my brother's been going through problems with his eyes, mostly caused by not controlling his diabetes. He had lots of retinal scarring. He went through several laser procedures. He has now had actual major eye surgery this week, involving scalpels and stitches. If this is successful, he may have some night vision. I couldn't go see him in Florida. My company is only letting us take off for death right now--our own. So we've been on the phone a lot. He can't do much else--he can't read or write or watch TV or movies or go online for a month. I'm hoping it's only a month, of course! He and his wife, who identify as "apatheists" but are becoming more solidified atheists, went to see "Religulous" this weekend. He was so depressed at the thought that this would be his last movie for the month, he had to see another right afterwards. It wasn't "Blindness," of course.
My mother and my brother got into an argument about movies! This damned culture war is playing out in the theater, and I really hate it. My mother went to see "An American Carol," and loved it. She's a conservative who loves crude, slapstick humor, so this was really her thing. She figured that between "Fireproof" and "An American Carol" on one side, and "Religulous" and "W" on the other, there might be actual fistfights in theaters this month. So far I haven't heard of any, but when Mom heard my brother tell her he was going to "Religulous," there were some fireworks. They only made up because of the eye surgery thing.
L'Ailee decided that she needed to see "Religulous", too, since it was making atheist-haters mad, and since she doesn't like to go to the movies by herself, I dragged along. Oh, how fun it was to see Bill Maher act like a supercilious prick in an effort to show how ignorant Southerners are. Not just Southerners in general, mind you, but people in my part of the South--Central Florida! He could have found "religulous" Evangelical Christians all over America, but apparently fundamentalism is funnier when said in a drawl.
L'Ailee came to a conclusion about "Religulous" and the last movie we'd seen for a similar reason, "The Golden Compass." "These are embarrassing movies. They make people think that atheists only hate, like those fundamentalist Christians. And we don't only hate. We think about so many things, not only about why we don't believe in God. I only think about that when someone says I have to do something because of their God." She pondered. "Maybe a good atheist movie isn't one that works hard to make an atheist point. That is as bad as what the fundamentalist Christians do, have a message first and then try to build a movie around that. Maybe a real, good atheist movie is one where the characters solve their problems without praying. They talk to their friends or they go to the doctor or they shoot the monster, no God at all. There are so many movies like that, and I think that is what upsets fundamentalist Christians. A lot of movies already say, you don't need religion. Bill Maher's was...what is that *word*?"
"Redundant?" I guessed.
"Thank you. Bill Maher's movie was redundant." I thought it was a great insight. I only wish she'd come up with it before we wasted two hours and twenty-five dollars we'll never get back. Oh, well. At least she respects my Pagan ways, and if she feels the need to laugh at a ritual, she recuses herself to her sewing room. I'm learning to be very grateful for that.
Links with an obvious theme:
This is beautiful, far more entertaining than "Kath and Kim," and I really wish the photographers who claimed to have caught this would show the damned pictures. It also has a very good moral, L'Ailee thinks: "Small people will fight back." Carl Edwards and L'Ailee's favorite driver, Kevin Harvick, fought in the garage at Lowe's Motor Speedway today! Come on, photographers. We all desperately need a good laugh...
Or maybe you'd prefer to watch a baby panda boy, all of one month old and three pounds, take his first steps. This little guy lives in Zoo Atlanta. He's probably as scrappy as L'Ailee and Kevin Harvick.
Cost-cutting secrets from famous NYC chefs, with recipes. Beats the hell out of the McDonald's dollar menu.
Great childrens' books about bad economic times.
Finally, tips for dealing with economic anxieties. These tips are intended for people like me with actual anxiety disorder, but I know others might want to see something like this.