Stymied as to Why the "Third World" Might Hate Us?

Every day I read about how people are "suffering" as our economy plummets. The paper doesn't chronicle the lives of people who are ACTUALLY suffering -- those who were hanging on by a thread only to have that thread snap, or those who never had a thread to begin with; instead, I am reading about people who are used to having 50 grand in available credit and now must make do with 25 grand, or those who can't waltz into an upscale retailer and buy a designer handbag without a thought but who now must shop at TJ Maxx or Marshall's or something. They can't toss off thousands or even hundreds of dollars without a care anymore. The horror!

So, what the newspaper is portraying as economic devastation and deprivation is how I have been living for years. Actually, they're still better off. And you know what? I am middle class. There are millions of Americans who would love to be as well off as me, I would wager. But apparently, I've been wallowing (and continue to wallow) in squalor. If the media is to believed, which it isn't.

This makes me think of Vaniqa. What link could there possibly be? I will tell you.

When Elder was a bitty baby, I hardly watched TV but had NPR running nearly nonstop. Thus I was able to hear a story in early 2001 about drug companies who didn't produce an anti-malarial drug when it could save lives, but only when it could be used to inhibit facial hair growth. I specifically remember the Doctors without Borders guy debating the smug drug company rep, finishing with an ominous, "Someday, you're going to die. And St. Peter isn't going to care about your 'profitability!'"

Fast forward 7 or 8 months, to September 11 and the following weeks. Remember how commercial TV went on hiatus for a week or two? And only news coverage played, commercial-free? Well, I remember the very first commercial that I saw following that ad-free period: you guessed it, Vaniqa. It had this very dramatic, echoing theme music... "VANIQA vaniqa vaniqa" that was just ridiculous.

The juxtaposition of what corporations WANT us to THINK is important versus what actually IS important was painfully clear to me at that moment. Really? You want me to get bent out of shape about some stray hairs above my lip when thousands of people just died a horrific death? I can't believe I went 10 days without agonizing about that, but you're right! I must do something about this dire situation IMMEDIATELY!

That's what George Bush wanted us to do, forget about any serious issues. We were urged not to focus on the frightening events that had just befell our nation, remember? We were urged to GO SHOPPING. Do not use this historic event to reflect upon the meaning of life, or contemplate the ramifications of what had just happened. We should GO BACK TO NORMAL, and NORMAL meant comforting ourselves with material goods and frivolous services.

Right now, we have another "disaster" of sorts. We can be hanging our heads at our collective foolishness, and rebuild our economy by building things that will make an impact on our world's future -- like clean sources of energy that don't destroy our planet, transportation systems that move people and things quickly, cleanly and safely, safe sustainable healthy agriculture, education, and reliable affordable health care. We NEED clean air and water to survive, we don't need ridiculous and useless status symbols that demonstrate nothing but vapidity and stupidity.

Or, we can continue to pursue empty vanity and self-worship.
Name: Übermilf
Location: Chicago Area

If being easily irritated, impatient and rebellious is sexy, then call me MILF -- Übermilf.

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