home Economy, Humor I gallantly solve the economic crisis

I gallantly solve the economic crisis

I’ve heard more or less the same things that you have: the sub-prime mortgage crisis has affected all sorts of markets, leading to all sorts of problems. The Dow has been plummeting. Paul Newman died.

What this all basically adds up to is that the country is on the brink of almost certain doom. It’s hard not to picture a future full of warming one’s hands over oil drum fires, sleeping in tree houses, and eating old tennis shoes while desperately trying to convince myself it’s roast beef.

In fact, I won‘t be surprised when the entire Earth becomes a barren wasteland. Also – because I happen to believe that the Mad Max series is really a sophisticated form of prophecy – I believe that people will assemble into wild tribes that rove the landscape in strange vehicles, wearing improbable armor, wielding axes, and searching for gas to take back to Thunderdome. It is a bleak future with terrible dialogue, and we must do all that we can to prevent it from ever taking place.

That being said, I have applied my powers of immense concentration to the economic problem at hand.

I’ve spent years training both mind and body in the hidden martial arts temples of the far East. I did many splits, and shattered stone tablets with my forehead. When I wasn’t busy doing that, I surrounded myself with scented candles and meditated. Finally, I know the names of some pretty smart books.

So, you see, I’m at least as qualified to advise the entire nation as every celebrity that ever ran their mouth about any socio-political issue ever. Maybe more so, because I’ve never “accidentally” leaked a sex tape.

My fantastic ideas:

– The Patronizing Mac User Tax:

There’s endless debate about the merits of Macs versus PC’s. However, unless you’re an engineer or programmer of some kind, chances are that you don’t really use your computer for anything other than word processing, porn, email, and Facebook stalking.

I’m no tech guru, but I do know that it is entirely possible to do all of these things on a Mac or a PC. Both types of computer are equally adept at surfing the pornomation superhighway.

Now, I’ve heard that Macs are better for “the creative stuff.” Well, I‘ve seen the “creative stuff“ on the internet, and very little of it consists of that next revolutionary indie flick that really makes you think. Much more likely is yet another horrible YouTube clip. Frankly, there are certain types of creativity that should be stifled. Or even punished.

A few examples of this mutant breed of creativity: a face-hammeringly “hilarious” rap where nobody gets punched in the genitals, a dance that doesn’t look nearly as good as in the music video, or a terrible 5-minute pilot episode that won‘t get picked up by major networks (1).

Finally, I have heard that Macs never crash, which is untrue. I have personally crashed the living shit out of an Apple computer on at least two occasions. Programs locked up, things started flashing. The computer itself let out a sort of low wailing moan as smoke began to pour of out of its vents. I watched this agony for a few seconds before driving my fist through the monitor and ending the misery. It was more or less exactly like Old Yeller – only there was never a wolf or badger or whatever it was.

My point in relating all of this is no computer is worth bragging about (2). It’s asinine. It’s like bragging about your car, only you don’t have to be quite as wealthy, and people won’t tell as many ‘small penis’ jokes behind your back (3).

So the next time I have to sit in a coffee shop and listen to some cultural “rebel” tell me about how great his Mac is, I would very much like to see a SWAT team come through the windows with flash-bangs and yell at everybody to get on the floor. One of them would flip up his night vision goggles and yell “Clear!”

Then, they would drag the guy to an ATM, and force a $500 donation out of him towards the public good. In addition to doing the right thing at gunpoint, this Mac user will have also learned valuable lessons about both humility and the most awesome way to enter a room.

– The “Pour Some Sugar On Me” Tax:

Every single time I’ve heard this song, over the last seven years, there has been a drunken sorority girl that belted out the lyrics while holding her drink up in the air – possibly as a salute to every woman that ever wore a lot of glitter or pressed her boobs together and somehow didn’t have to pay a cover to get in.

It’s the absolute truth. One time, there were playing a muzak version of the song in the dentists office, and a girl in a mini-skirt still popped out from behind the potted plant, started gyrating, and spilled her hard lemonade all over a little kid with a cavity.

It’s a unique kind of passion that comes out during this song – and it is inevitable. You could play this song on the moon and three or four sorority girls would hop out of a crater, belt out the chorus, slam back their drinks, and asphyxiate. As far as I can tell, it’s comprised partially of that comfortable feeling of being around the girls that you’re going to be close to forever (until you aren’t), and also partially of simply wanting to cut loose and keep drinking as long as the good times keep rolling. Finally, throw in a dash of “make sure to look hot for anybody watching.” What’s astounding is that each of these impulses dooms the other two. It is truly a paradox.

But it is the kind of paradox that can be used for the good of the world. In the same way that a flowing river can be used for hydroelectric power, a sorority girl on the weekend can be used for cash flow – provided, of course, that certain laws are passed.

The next time a DJ plays this song at a party, he needs to pause it right before the chorus and collect $5 from every girl that plans to go crazy with her gal pals and bray about being bff’s. Any resistance will be handled by whichever SWAT teams aren’t currently kicking down the door of local coffee houses. It might take the public execution of several John Deere trucker hats, or the smashing of some aviator glasses before order is restored, but I promise you, it will all be worth it (4).

– The Economic Switcheroo:

It is a known fact that the border patrol stops immigrants from entering across the southern border on more or less a daily basis. There has been a huge amount of debate and speculation as the necessity of this practice, as well as the methods employed.

Sun Tzu once said, “if you haven‘t beaten Halo 3 on Legendary, don’t waste my f*cking time, dude.” I like to think that what he meant was that if you have a weakness, you must seek some way to turn it into a strength (5).

Now, our weakness is obviously our economy, which is sputtering and groaning like a beached sperm whale with a bellyful of LSD. However, many illegal immigrants entering the country still believe this to be a land of opportunity – as opposed to, say, a sinking raft being circled by sharks that was accidentally equipped with pork chops instead of life vests. We can use this misconception.

My idea is to gradually lessen the resistance to illegal immigrants crossing the border. The key word here is “gradually.” If we’re one day putting up barbed wire fences and the next day laying out trails of candy and spare ribs that lead all the way to Arkansas, it will be obvious that something is up. No, we must slowly decrease patrols, cut more holes in fences, and employ nearsighted border patrolmen that can’t tell the difference between a dust weevil and a family of six.

If all goes according to plan, then – according to my calculations (6) – a big chunk of Mexico’s population will have been lured into the U.S. within a matter of weeks. However, they will have foolishly left their economy back in Mexico and ripe for the taking. At this point, I will personally fire a flare gun into the air while on horseback. My pony and I will lead the charge southward at full gallop. We’ll get down there and settle in as fast as possible. When they return, demanding that we give them their economy and return to our own nonexistent one, we will simply pretend we have no idea what they’re talking about.

– The “Who Cares?” Debt Re-Assignment Plan:

Often, the key to settling a debt is to channel the surplus from another area into the deficient one. Sometimes this is a simply matter of rearranging funds, but more often, it takes a bit of philosophical creativity and, dare I say, handsomeness. I have at least one of these things in spades.

This country might be lacking in things like “funds,” “bankers that aren’t fiends in human shape,” or “a foreseeable future where the only real currency is dirt (7).” But one thing we have an excess of is celebrity.

In fact, we’re so willing to hand out celebrity, that many people now are famous simply for being famous. Individuals like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and Lindsay Lohan are famous for doing nothing, partying excessively, and generally setting the feminist movement back by a decade or three every time they appear in public.

Since one of the fundamental drains on our economy is the sub-prime mortgage crisis: I suggest the following. Every time one of these useless celebrities does something that prompts the questions “Who cares?” and “Why are they famous again?” the government should assign them a good chunk of the sub-prime mortgage debt.

The next time Paris Hilton gives us an impromptu gynecological demonstration, give her some debt! The next time Kim Kardashian addresses rumors concerning her “curves (8),” wrap some debt statements around a brick and hurl it through her windshield! Oh, Lindsay Lohan is dating a chick that looks like a 15 year old kid fresh from playing Xbox and thinks we should care? Give her some debt! Let’s celebrate by filling a swimming pool with debt statements, throwing Benji Madden into it, and making him buy his way out.

– The Girl at the Table to my Left:

Is. A. Bitch.

She’s sitting with her slightly plump, red-headed friend, and every time Red lists a place or person she would like to visit, this girl cuts her off, rudely listing all reasons why that is a stupid idea, and summarizing her arguments at the end with “You are not going there. There’s no way you’re going.” You can literally see her mind racing as she strategizes how to crush her friend’s hopes and dreams. And what’s scarier is that she’s very, very good at it.

Red seems positively stymied as this girl stiletto-stomps all of her summer plans before she’s even finished describing them. It’s like watching a 12-year old play chess with Deep Blue… only Deep Blue has turned evil, and robot-punches the kid’s grandma right after checkmating her.

Of course, Red is being a little too passive about all of this. She ought to say something calm but firm, like “Well, that’s your opinion,“ or “If you don’t shut your mouth, I’m going to make you eat your own head.“

But my point is that the girl in question, the dream-stomper, is a horrible friend, and it might be character-building if she were to be financially ruined for about a decade. Give her some debt!

Also, I would like to assemble a special FBI taskforce for the express purpose of keying her car or leaving little dents in the passenger doors on a daily basis. You know, for the economy. She’s wearing those sunglasses with the little plastic slits in place of actual lenses, so I don’t think I’m in the wrong here.

So these are just a few ideas that I’ve had. I felt it was my duty as a citizen with incredible abs to share my thoughts, so that can get this country back on track. I have also enclosed copies of this list of ideas to both candidates, along with some candy and a series of black and white headshots where I look really great.

I have no doubt that my economic insights will be incorporated into their platforms soon, and I’m counting on you all to vote for whichever one references me the most in their next speech. Until then, I wish you all luck, and recommend that you hide your money in a shoebox under your bed.

1) This is exactly the sort of stuff that makes me sad that it is no longer fashionable to leave horse heads on people’s pillows.

2) Unless it can comprehend love, which will never happen. Robots can’t understand why we cry, they just think our eyes are malfunctioning. Silly microchip, that’s what makes us… human.

3) Maybe this should change, though.

4) To follow: sorority girls also seem to have an incredible affinity for treadmills and elliptical machines. We should simply take all the cardio equipment on every college campus, hook it up to giant capacitors every Sunday afternoon. We’d wax that alternative energy crisis right out.

5) And not waste all your damn time running around and looking for power-ups. Sun Tzu will take your controller and throw it in the toilet if you don’t make yourself useful and start blasting.

6) If you type “55378008” on a calculator and turn it upside down, it spells “boobless!” Ha! Where is your boob?!

7) Also, a future in which all the bad guys have jet skis, and the hero that saves us all will be Kevin Costner… with gills. If it ever even looks like this future will come to pass, I suggest we just start a nuclear war with another country. Massive devastation, widespread infertility, and a crippled ecosystem are all preferable to Dennis Hopper as a pirate.

8 ) i.e. Her cybernetically enhanced thunderbutt, capable of transporting an entire wing of fighter jets.


Joe Sapien

Joe Sapien is a regular columnist. He is currently floundering through grad school and running up debt. He never got to be a bully as a child, but he would have been pretty good at it.

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