The financial world continues to produce a trickle of stories in what historically was the Dead news Period…. Summer, the Sargasso Sea of infotainment, the period of buried stories and leaks, the doldrums of editorials and Readers’ Picks such-and-such eatery and drinkery give us a serving of yet another exponential number scandal, another sum of lost investments, stolen interest, manipulated systems, and small (however I cannot imagine so many billions of dollars as a small thing) rips in our hull, pinhole gushers and damp areas are filling up our ship of state faster than the pumps can empty the bilge.
We refuse to set up a bailing line, we can’t cooperate anymore. We can’t even agree on what colours comprise green or if we want dinner or super or at noon is the shadow of the sundial true, or a falsehood of the dominant Western Curriculum and Patriarchy. This evening, my bank account was injected with a certain number and I have to believe that this is the amount I am owed for the work of the last pay period, that the money in there has such and such assigned values, that by the end of the week I can reallocate that number to others, either in small drips, such as the glass of wine I am sipping on, or large chunks, such as the checks I write to the mortgageinsurancegaselectricwaterphone company. I am not amazed by the sandals, the lost and stolen money, the bent or unenforced rules of the bankers, it’s like being mad at mosquitoes for stinking you, the old story of the scorpion and the frog. It is in their nature. What amazes me, is that this endless drubbing of our “economy” seems to not change anything outside of the slow pecking we all feel of a slight decent into farther wage slavery.
Is this the Peak Oil promise? The gains and recessions of limited cheep energy? A stalemate of political schemes as Demopublicancrats fight and fluster over dim witted issues knowing that both draw checks from the same PAC funders and similar corporate interests? The news reports yet another bank tipping its hands into the till, losing so many billion funds that if these dollars were stacked one on top of another it would reach to the moon and back, again underscoring the strangeness of loosing such an apparently large thing as I have lost so many other smaller things.
To keys to that thing? Lost. But I didn’t lose a billion dollars. The book I left behind? But, I didn’t misplace several hundred million dollars. Perhaps this is not because these millions billions trillions were not lost as we understanding loosing, but they have vanished. Poof. As children we learned that breaking a cookie in half did not give us more cookie. As a civilization we learned that there was a thing called absolute zero and that blew our tinny Greek minds. In time we learned from our turbaned brothers that there were negative numbers that we could go below zero and delve into minus apples, stones, and grain. We have learned this, it has shaped our minds and metaphors, and yet so many of us continue to think that money, that is the valuation agreed upon by us can’t simply vanish and appear at the wave of a wand. JP Morgan didn’t lose that money, they vanished it. It no longer exists. Gono. The national debit can also no longer exist. It is not a real thing. It is not an actual problem.
I learned a long time ago, and the hard way that contracts and agreements are not actual things. They are paper (or today a checkbox) and ink (or a check within that electronic box… the future returning us to the past when kings signed away empires with an ‘x’). They are pretend. As many verbs and other action words, as many designations of “is” are added, no matter the flowery terms, the legalese, the subject-clause defying explanations and definitions, the fucking fact is that without a little muscle, a few rifles, or an atomic bomb or three thousand, these contracts can be broken as they are only as good as the enforcement. Many Native Americans could tell you this with the trail of broken treaties they’ve endured. Many landlords and even more tenants would be able to tell you this. Anyone who has been fucked over after signing on the dotted line and not provided what had otherwise been agreed, from Versailles to your childhood game of freeze tag, without violence, there is no value that can be preserved, no agreement that can be enforced.
So let us vanish our debt, ’cause all we have to do is hit rewind . Let the fucking Chinese invade us. We’ll get all Red Dawn on their asses, we all got guns. Let the bankers demand their interest rate return on investment (the fee they charge taking your neighbor’s money and lending it to you), we all got guns. Let the mortgage companies demand their keys to a hundred million homes, how are they going to mow the lawns? Let the state default on the Federals, what are they going to invade California? Let the municipalities renege on their bonds, let the retirement funds cut off the old farts, what are old people going to do? Let us no longer pay for entry to the subway or allow the supermarket to collect from us when we obtain food. Let us understand that any point in this complex world is no more real than we make it, those who claim not to believe in an Old Man In The Sky no more connected to reality in their believe in our petty systems that we make real thinking they are indispensable as once they intensely believed in Santa Claus. Let’s just forget the whole thing…. or can we?
It can all stop. It will all stop, or at least change. This looks like it will be sooner than later. This summer? Nah. Because of JP Morgan? Nope. After or before or because of the “election”? Not at all. The infotainment industry will distract us as best they can with these “news” stories, but the world has already started changing, our financial system has already fallen, it just will take us some time to realize it. The leaks are many, but the visibility of this damage is still below the water line.
We continue to hold on expecting to sink, but perhaps we are in shallow muddy water, and we have to learn to live without drama, continuing to be standing in the muck.