Snake World


This is Daisy, who is, as you can see, blessed with great physical beauty. She’s even got matching beauty moles. She is somewhat vain in consequence. I tell both my dogs that they’re smart girls, good girls, beautiful girls. But with Daisy, it is definitely the latter that resonates. She takes in the sun like a glamorous 50s-era movie star in San Tropez, even though she is only a dog in Florida.

The sun is one thing we’ve still got going for us in Florida. Otherwise, things are pretty shitty. We’ve got double-digit unemployment. Nearly half of our houses are underwater in the mortgage sense and will be among the first literally underwater if nothing is done about climate change. And nothing will be done because Republicans and Fox News have successfully demagogued that issue to their mouth-breathing audience, some of whom will eventually require snorkels to continue their mouth-breathing.

Medicare fraudster Rick Scott still occupies the governor’s mansion he shelled out $70 million-plus to acquire in 2010, and he apparently stood out as a fool even among the many nitwits and frauds at CPAC. Grandstanding faux-exile Marco Rubio, whose political prospects are receding along with his hairline, lied agreeably to the gathered fools at CPAC and remains our most prominent politician down here, which provides some perspective on the state of disrepair hereabouts.

The US economy is showing some green shoots, and I fervently hope a recovery is for real, because people are suffering. And also because I’m not sure the country could withstand another round of Republican governance. Oh sure, that’s what THEY say about President Obama; everyone who spoke at the convention of morons in DC this week cleared his or her throat with a variation on that very theme.

But the empirical evidence shows they are lying, whereas the insane policies they’re promising to implement should the American people be dumb enough to give them control of the government again really could advance the project of destruction moved forward so aggressively by the last blithering ninny the GOP stood as president.

There’s a lot we can and should do as individuals and groups to make sure that doesn’t happen, and I will do my part. But there’s only so much any of us can do, not only to make an impact within this country but also in a world-historical sense. My Rumproast co-blogger StrangeAppar8us once said:

In truth, nations have been obsolete as sovereign organizational units for some time. There are sovereign corporations and sovereign piles of capital, but nations are basically accounting entries associated with a particular profile of a) indigenous resources, b) comparative labor costs, c) relative social stability, d) relative currency strength and e) relative weakness of business taxation and regulatory controls. Local military power still matters, and some nations still command a certain reflexive residual deference to their post-WWII/Cold War primacy. However, in an age of cheap intercontinental shipping and wire transfers, nations are basically cultural theme parks competing for ticket sales.

I think he was exactly right. We know something about theme parks in Florida. That and sunshine are about all we’ve got left. As far back as my parents and I can remember, one steady source of revenue here was retirees, and what a goldmine they were for a few generations. People still joke about the state being “God’s waiting room,” and until a few years ago, they joked that the state bird was the “construction crane.”

The construction jobs are pretty much gone now, and they probably aren’t ever coming back, at least not to pre-crash levels. I don’t think we’ll return to the days when you could pass a rural cow pasture and then drive by a month later to find it had been walled off and converted into an age-55+ golf course community.

I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I dislike those walled-off “communities.” I can understand why seniors would want to escape obnoxious teens and wailing toddlers—god, who doesn’t? But they’re part of real life, as are the elderly curmudgeons and watchful nanas who have sealed off their wisdom and capacity for creative interference behind a gated guard shack. To paraphrase another doddering old fart, it’s time to tear down that wall.

And come down it will, I think. But as usual, it won’t be good sense that makes it happen but rather money. My parents are among the first wave of baby boomers who are now reaching retirement age, and luckily for them, they don’t have to move to Florida since they grew up here. But I think they and their age-cohorts may be among the last who have that option anyway. Their children don’t have comfortable pensions but rather crappy 401(k) plans that the Wall Street titans blew at the roulette wheel—and that’s only if they’re lucky.

A lot of us don’t have jack shit, and we’re going to have to work until we drop—if we can find work at all—or reinvent retirement as some sort of hobo adventure, maybe? In that case, perhaps Florida will remain a retirement mecca. Even people who have to sleep outside are unlikely to freeze here. Although the chances of being swallowed whole by a giant snake are increasing.

Posted by Betty Cracker on 02/12/12 at 09:55 AM • Permalink

Categories: CrittersPoliticsBarack ObamaBedwettersBushCoElection '10Election '12NuttersTeabaggeryOur Stupid Media

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she is only a dog in Florida.

she is a SunDoggess in Florida.

Fixed it for you. There is no such thing as ONLY a dog. That’s what MY pack tells me.

As a member of your parents’ peer group, I can heartily recommend the retirement scheme that is currently burbling through my generation’s underground . . . I call it “divestment.”  It requires rethinking the parameters of the American Dream and taking an Aquarian chainsaw to it i.e., selling off the houses, cars, boats, vacation homes and other detritus associated with the aforementioned national hysteria, and just living, quite comfortably, thank you, on the proceeds. 

Most fears and problems associated with retirement, in America, have to do with trying to maintain an absurd standard of living, in old age, to “keep up appearances.  An army of financial advisors have grown fat preying on seniors selling the notion of jet-setting grannies as American Dream, Phase 3.

Most of the American Dream paraphernalia never felt all that comfortable to us, in the first place.  It was our penance, for having acted up in egregiously un-American ways in the ‘60s, to finally go out, get a “real” job, and start fulfilling our destinies as “grown-up” consumers.  The good news is, many of us had lots of practice living in a counterculture, sort of way before the ax fell. 

We can, and are, doing it again and we are quite happy . . . . and secure.  Fear not, just follow our lead.

Bette Noir, you are my (s)hero; what a grand realization.  Being at the very end of the Boomers myself, I know there won’t be anything left in the cookie jar if the Rethugs have their way; if that isn’t a damned good reason to be politically active, I don’t know what is.

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