October 8, 2008

7 Things To Expect In Our Brave New World

Financial turmoil directed by CNBC; a U.S. Presidential election so important that they are running a guy no one really ever wanted vs. a guy no one's ever heard of in an election subtitled  "More of The Same vs. Less Of Everything."  May you live in interesting times.

Here are five other things you don't want that are coming:

1.  The return of pubic hair and mustaches. 

The good times go with no hair; the bad times go with more hair.  I don't like it any more than you do, but we're about to be  bombarded with Starsky and Hutch look-a-likes and the totally earnest use of the phrase "luxurious bush."  I'm going to go throw up now.

2. Fashion trends:

2a. Dressing like elves.

As in the Hobbit, not Keebler.  Brown boots, green leggings and oversized shirts/sweaters doubling as skirts.

2b.  Hose.  

Just as society finally recovered from the 50 year self-mutilation called pantyhose-- even the WSJ debated whether it was still required for the office-- it will soon be making a comeback.  If anyone in the fashion industry is reading this, stop killing your children.  No one should be wearing pantyhose unless they're about to rob a bank.  Please, I beg you all, stop this.

3. Another terrorist attack: February 2009.

Maybe I'm cynical, but has anyone noticed recessions are ended by wars?  And that the S&P 500 closed yesterday, October 7, 2008, at the same point it did ten years ago, October 7, 1998?  Which was also the historical low of the LTCM disaster? 

Most recently 1989 S&L bailout lead to Gulf War I;  and the scary similarity between the S&P500 pre 9/11 and now:

double top that doesn't end well.JPG

which was cured by Gulf War 2 in 2003...  Do we get another attack to bring us down, then a war at S&P 800? Early, to test a new President's resolve? Stay tuned.  I hope President Obama is ready.

Of course, it could be domestic terrorism/riots/Presidential assassination attempt, which unfortunately seems likely as well.

4. Conspiracy Theories:  Like the above!  Many of you will not be old enough to remember how the Nasca Lines, Lost Civilizations, Cryptobiology, JFK and Egyptology are connected, but they most assuredly are, as Mr. Spock explained to us, in 168 episodes of shroomy genius.  And Erich von Daniken wrote 20+ books while the economy was crippled with stagflation.

5.  Wrestling
.  Pick any show that's been running from 1995 to now.  So many of them have seen ratings trend lower, except the WWE (formerly WWF before the panda patrol got testy.) 

raw is war ratings.JPG

There was a surge when The Rock and Stone Cold were on, but ignoring that period ratings have been stable for over a decade.  And that doesn't account for growth in Europe.

As people lose their jobs and look for a choreographed release of their frustrations and prejudices, one might be tempted to smell what you know who is cooking.  And the stock, also stable between 13-19 (now 15) now pays a 9.7% dividend.  Take that Bank of America!

When your kid endows body parts with political significance and then tombstones his brother, you'll know I was right.

6. Mercantilism.  Enough said.

7. Secular humanism.  In case your last experience with it was high school, let me point out that this is a bad thing, not a good thing.  Yes, it's wonderful to have an ethical system free of religious foundation and therefore premised in reason, or something, but what happens when the humanist's "reason" is in sharp contrast to the "reason" of the humanist with the tanks?

It also overlooks the historically indisputable point that human(ist)s like killing each other and themselves, and will do so with little provocation.   Indeed, many actively seek out reasons to open fire.  "We are no better than they are" (and why isn't that ever, "they are no better than we are?") is a popular refrain among those who haven't been on the wrong end of the not any worse they, but it makes choosing sides a lot more difficult when, well, you have to choose sides.  And if the S&P500 chart is any indication, we're going to be needing to choose some sides pretty soon.



Did you know Julian Huxley, eugenecist and brother of the author Aldous, was once an American Humanist Association's "Humanist of The Year?"   So were Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Atwood, Benjamin Spock, Isaac Asimov, Betty Friedan and John Kenneth Galbraith.  Do you see the connection?  They're all science fiction writers.