I can find the United States on a map and I know I live here. But I am having a hard time actually finding it. I wonder if we have become a nation of sub Americas in which nobody knows the other exists. There used to be a Chevy commercial that crooned about being the “heart beat” of America, if you still believe that you can buy the swag to reassure yourself. Surely now, filling up that truck is just as like to give you a heart attack.
Does that mean it will still fit when we try it on?
Great I was hoping I could fit into those smaller sized jeans I have stashed in the closet. Not likely any of us will be actually buying a new pair any time soon. Apparently an additional 70 percent of economists are pessimistic about the economy’s outlook than just three months ago. Pessimistic?
The average wage of a “corporate economist” is about 106,000 dollars. Those employed by the federal government make around on average 94,000 dollars a year. Granted, they have to go to school for a very long time, it takes a while to properly indoctrinate folks to never question the supremacy of the free market. The best young economists have the highest school debt, they have worked their asses off and are too shy to admit that just maybe they were overly optimistic about how great it is to tinker with capitalism. It is great for the people who hire the economists to do so. Come on nobody invites the servants to birthday parties.
Birthday parties are new and exciting opportunities for social anxiety. That is what great about this country: we keep finding more means by which to both feel inadequate and spend a few more bucks trying to vanquish it.
A blurb on CNN bravely documents this crippling malady. A darling three year old got this
shindig from Mom.
So she booked a fondue restaurant, hired a musical troupe to perform as the Wiggles (her daughter’s favorite group) and ordered a four-layer cake. Each guest took home a Fisher-Price guitar and custom CD.
The price tag? $5,00085
A more budget conscious Mom laments spending quite a bit less…
Two years ago when her daughter Emily turned 6, St. Paul stay-at-home mom Laura Forstrom threw her a birthday party for the first time. Emily invited sixteen friends to celebrate at a Color Me Mine ceramics painting center.
“I didn’t think all 16 would come, but they did, and it was $15 a person,” she said. Add in the cake, favors, pizza and soda, and Forstrom spent over $1,000.
You can make a decent living just planning kiddie birthday parties. Wedding planners are so out. Now you must have a birthday party planner.
Each Over the Top party has a theme and is run by a team trained in child development, says Dinsfriend. Her events — from tea parties with fine china to military-themed parties led by former Marines — usually take six weeks to plan and cost as much as $10,000
I don’t know anybody who feels anxious enough to spend this kind of money on kiddie parties. They seem more anxious about weird things like food.
In 1997 the average worker earned $431.86 a week. By June 2007 the average worker’s paycheck was $589.52 a week, an increase of 36.5%. Over the same period inflation took 33.7% of all wage gains
So.. the cheaper party will cost you two weeks wages.
Most of us are trying to save money by lying to the kiddies about when their birthday is, hoping the confusion will wear them out. I say give them a bunch of rocks and let them munch pizza in the back yard. They can play “war”, good practice for the thousand year wars McCain has planned for us.
Meanwhile. Americans are still innovating. Maybe CNN felt silly about the birthday party article because they displayed another one showing how we are all bucking up. Determined mothers are making their own detergent, buying generics, and cutting back on red meat. Wonder how many 1,000 dollar birthday parties their kids get invited to? Maybe if John McCain visits their communities he can praise their personal decision making and free market choices. As if the average American mother actually has choices.
Heather Havrilesky, in her usual self mocking style, reminds us that there is sad virtue in this down turn for those who can still afford to eat.
In this article, while making fun, she has a bit of wisdom while documenting the shrinking middle class lifestyle. Of course, if you’ve already fallen out of the middle class the only comfort she provides, is that eventually we will all be playing in the dirt and swapping cheery accolades about how great it is that we are all in the same boat.
Personally, I’m happier when my options are limited. I like knowing that I can’t afford to move and I can’t afford to quit my job and I can’t afford to think about the boundless possibilities that the universe has to offer, I can only afford to clean my own stupid house and eat leftovers and lose weight so the shitty clothes I already have don’t look even worse on me than they would otherwise. Under the duress of an economic meltdown, I have to learn to bake bread and grow tomatoes and hit up my friends
for hand-me-downs for my kids.
Consumerism is very exhausting and a big time suck…..
But was it really so easy to be happy when the world was our stupid oyster? That relentless quest for perfection only makes me distracted and neurotic
In America the quest for perfection is the quest for things. I have never been one of those Type A civilians myself, perfection bored me. I don’t like harassing people if they help me out in the kitchen and dice things a little oddly. I don’t give a shit if my work colleagues fail to line up the staplers in unison, so maybe when I lose the shirt off my back I will be a happy clam as well.
Nicolas Von Hoffman, at alternet, thinks maybe bitterness is truthfulness. He thinks Obama was unfairly attacked when he used the “B” word to describe certain Americans. Perhaps we can come up with a new hybrid emotion of “perkybitter” to describe our cognitive dissonance.
Every election season, candidates pretend to tear up as they assure millions of Americans who are working for less — or not at all — with the phrase the Clintons made famous:”I feel your pain.” That empty empathy will get you a bag of groceries in the basement of that church across town.
This year, the politicians are back with their speeches about how they are going to arrange for vocational classes so the voters will be able to compete in the twenty-first century. The first decade of the twenty-first century is already almost over. Time to drop that line, lest the small-town people turn bitter
We want our oppressed to be happy and forward looking! Don’t you just hate it when you are having a good day and your downer neighbor complains about being hungry? Fuck, at least she lost that last twenty pounds.
A few things concern me. If we get that perkybitter worker driven uprising will I still be allowed to work overtime to buy Italian shoes? After all, Antonio Gramsci was Italian, so couldn’t it be considered a fitting historical tribute?