Friday, October 24, 2008

Chocolate Wool For Comfort

Outside of these walls, in the news, I find myself so dismayed and frustrated I want to scream. It's not that the economic crisis is a surprise, the unexpected consequences of greed and corruption. I thought it was plain enough to see coming. I think the frustration comes from being really angry and disheartened and feeling abused by what were supposed to be fundamental American values and principles of economy. The question has been raised... are we, Generation X, angry? "Angry" doesn't even come close. Baby Boomers, and the Greatest Generation have bankrupted their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and the same legislatures, bankers, lenders, CEOs and politicians that arrogantly saddled us with our bleak future are still at the helm and ensuring themselves excessive benefits at our expense. Do you really believe it's a coincidence that we are inundated with the live simple mantra, just when the light of day is beginning to shine on the ruins of our society? I like living within my means and growing veggies, by choice, but I feel ill and ominous misgivings when the government and media spout their green slogans and perpetuate a notion that we can buy and shop our way into a better economy by consuming the right kind of cr@p. John Mc Cain said he wants to legislate protection for housing prices so that home values do not fall... WTF? We are in trouble because they lied about the value of homes and stocks and material junk, and now we have to pay for those illusions, and further more we need to uphold the lies... print money, erase debts, hand billions of dollars over to the same SOBs who stole it from us in the first place....

Did I say that out loud?
Yeah, so I have issues.
And just when I think I want to give up hit something eat steak, chocolate cake and popcorn balls I turn to my yarn and start making something. Anything.

It's welfare for the rich. Do you realize that? The whole bailout and mortgage forgiveness is socialism for the elite. On the surface it seems like a nice thing to rescue people from their burdens, from the huge debt they were "dealt." But what about the greater percentage of citizens that own homes, that are making their payments? Is it "nice" to saddle them with the bill for other people's errors, mistakes, reckless spending? What happens to the renters and savers who have waited for the natural rise and fall of prices in the housing market? Protecting inflated prices does not help the poor... it ensures that housing prices remain ridiculously out of touch with reality. I believe that nothing our government is doing to bandage the problem is going to work. How much longer can people lose jobs, work for stagnant salaries, pay higher costs for staples and still be able to pay for overpriced homes?


Where's my yarn basket?
Who wants a comfy scarf for Christmas?
Is this green hat cute or goofy?
Maria wants to send it to her cousin Dominic.

It's a luxury... self pity, reading articles and browsing the Internet, roasting pumpkin seeds and staying up 'til 2a.m. crocheting chocolate brown wool in to a comforting scarf. It's a luxury and a lifeline. I need something to help me keep from completely unraveling.

How are you coping?


amy smith said...

oh natalie.
i get you.

d.a. said...

Preach it, sister! YES!

nikkipolani said...

How am I coping? In yesterday's reading of my Daily Light (a daily compilation of verses) included these two verses:

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?"


"Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"

It was a timely reminder for me.

mtnchild said...

I had a similar discussion with a girlfriend today over lunch... This country is broken and will take a long time to fix.

And sad to say, we need to elect one of two people for president. Which one is the lesser of two evils? We will have to decide.

Sorry, I can go on and on too . . . I'll stop now.


Pam said...

How am I coping? Same as you.Going for the security colours and fabrics, the soft greens,greys and browns of Wales.Although I'm Australian, and things have hit hard here too, I love the country of Wales and felt like I was coming home when I went there. This does not feel like home at the moment.I feel like I'm paying for someone else's ostentatious mansion, yet again.Meanwhile I cuddle up in my yarns and colours.

judy in ky said...

Our country (and the entire globe for that matter) seems to be going off-kilter. Things are changing in ways we couldn't foresee. I don't think anyone knows what will happen next. So, creating things with our own hands at least is something we can control. Concentrating on the small things that are within our power takes our minds off the big things that we can't control.
At least, that's how I am coping at the moment! I agree that we have all been "ripped off" by the "fat cats" in their mansions and private jets.

prairieknitter01 said...

I am so confused. Yesterday we attended a meeting at work to teach us to support our new digital TV products. It never even occurred to me to WANT these things! Good heavens! I get calls from people on the support line that sound like these folks will simply perish without their video on demand or something, and quite honestly, they sound like we're selling heroin not television. I had a mother tell me to send a tech immediately, she cannot stand to be without television because what would she "do" with her children! I have simple cable but honestly, I don't see a lot to watch. Which of those insipid programs on the hundreds of digital TV channels available are people so addicted to that they can't live five minutes without 500 channels? I cope by playing along, because that's what I do. Then I go home, make a cup of coffee, and listen to NPR. "To the best of our knowledge" on Wisconsin Public Radio is my favorite.

Take care, all of us.

Tiglizzyclone said...

If things continue as they are I worry that I will be living in my van one day. In the meantime, I am grateful for those things that I do have. And I am doing more of those things which leave a sense of accomplishment in me.

Paul said...

As I understand it, there's going to be a pretty solid recession for a couple of years - it's gonna be painful for some and no one except the thiefs who were caught in their own traps will deserve it.

But take hope, sister. Times like these open up the opportunity for people to be a little less self-absorbed, a little more connected. Your gift of that tea set to us and Amira was an unexpected atom bomb of love in the middle of a otherwise plain day.

I have a friend in New York who has interviewed some of the wealthiest, most financial successful people in the city and who lived near Wall Street for a time. She said that you wouldn't believe how broken and shallow they and their personal relationships can be, and how much they expressed envy for her rich, loving relationship with her husband and daughter.

I get not having enough money or a home. We're right there. But wealth is relative, and being forced to choose, I'd say we both ended up with the good end of the stick.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Baby Boomer, a retired one. One who worked hard, lived below my means, and saved for my retirement.
I'm angry too that a handful of powerful, corrupt institutions have jeopardized it all.
We, the people, gave them permission to do it, by acquiescence. We, the people, who wanted more and more stuff, who had to have the latest gadgets, the newest cars, the biggest homes.
The biggest ponzi schemes have been in real estate. I lived in California in the 70's and, even then, I was amazed that the IRS provided for people to sell their homes, not pay tax on their profits, provided they rolled their profits into the next more expensive home. On and on, the selling and buying. Until people were buying homes large enogh to house a small city. Like all ponzi schemes, it comes to a bad end.
Yes, the reckoning has caused many people to take stock of what is really important. I just hope it's meaningful reflection and action, not just anger.