I read two papers every day – the Chicago Sun-Times and the London Daily Telegraph. By “read”, I of course mean “read on my phone” – seriously, who has time to pull an actual newspaper out of its plastic sheath, unless you’re itching for some Sudoku (which of course is also available on one’s phone) or the nostalgic innocence of reading Dick Tracy with the smell of newsprint in your nose?
I read the Telegraph because I like to get a global perspective on things. I’m sure I could get a similar perspective by simply sticking with the Sun-Times, but by the time I make my way through the “Crime” section, I’m exhausted. The Telegraph is useful because not only do you get breaking news on the international cricket scene and the machinations of Parliament, you also get a heavy dose of coverage on the Euro crisis. This is helpful in case you forgot your morning tradition of banging your head into your bedroom wall sixty-seven times, or if your spouse is refusing to honor your request to smack you in the ass with a cactus because it “builds character”.
The Euro crisis is an insult to common sense, and it’s been this way for months. One day Europe’s headed to Hades in a hand basket. The next day, hope is on the horizon and the continent is suddenly re-galvanized. Up and down the yo-yo goes. I don’t know how a reporter can cover this ridiculousness and not go completely insane. Every animal-related cliché is in play here: the dog chasing his tail, the hamster on the wheel, the donkey trying to lick its own ass, the monkey trying to knock himself off of a branch by smelling his own – ah, never mind.
One morning I read that such-and-such body has approved a three-trillion bailout. Twenty-four hours later, Greece is back on the brink of default because the amount isn’t great enough, and oh by the way, the Germans hate the French. This is pure, unadulterated insanity. It’s self-serving, politico-elitist poppycock that only parasitic politicians could think possesses some shred of dignity and logic, while their constituents suffer on a daily basis. Until the ruling class suffers along with the average person — and until “let’s throw more money at the problem” is flushed down the Crapper of Bad Solutions once and for all — it’s difficult to believe that any politician or banker has a sincere interest in bringing an end to the madness.
Earlier I used the phrase “hope is on the horizon” – unfortunately, when hope is the S.S. IMF carrying a boat-load of money, you’d better grab that rosary again. It’s a sad day when our “leaders” believe that throwing money at a problem like this will actually work. These politicians are so greedy and so enamored with money, and all of the financial spin and mathematical tinkering and economic minutia that exists to inflate its worldly value, that they’re blinded to the sociological/anthropologic aspect of the crisis, and the idea that a workable, long-lasting solution can only come once the problem is attacked from this point-of-view. To think that a country like Greece is suddenly going to “wise up” and start acting the same way the Germans do simply because their coffers are a quarter full again is laughable. Same goes for Italy, Portugal, Spain and Hungary.
I always thought Europeans were more grounded than Americans, and less materialistic/money-driven — but day after day I’m proven wrong. I will temper this statement by saying that the American financial district surely has a hand in “sorting all of this out”, which is the last thing the Europeans should want at this point.
These are dark times – hopefully they preface some reawakening in common sense, values and decency, but for now it sucks to watch.
Looking to the sky for help –