Periscope Depth

I went looking for some writing that I knew would not be there

So after an unending series of Presidents spur money into the housing market as well as institutional investing, to the point that the best investment for an exorbitant FY-over-FY rate of return is real estate, even above and beyond what the market could plausibly sustain – condos in the shittiest parts of Florida flipping four times before they’re even carpeted; fifty-story condos on the strip in Vegas – leading to a cottage industry of robosigners, skeevy lenders and unqualified borrowers that, shockingly, implodes, causing the destruction of several ancient banks, and inspiring their brother moneylenders to pick up the phone to their boys in Washington – you know them, their photos are in the international terminals of major airports – and say, hey guys, a little help, prompting an unaudited, multi-trillion dollar bailout of those same banks that created the implosion in the first place, said bailout flowing immediately back to the fever swamp in the form of T-bill purchases that buy no groceries, lay no bricks and fill no libraries (although they do help finance wars #4 through 7) but instead pad the account books of several investment managers and allow the banks to claim that they’ve repaid their graft in full, prolonging a recession and destroying what little wealth the debtor caste has accumulated, leading a few souls to timidly say, “Hey, maybe we might voice our displeasure at what’s been done to us, provided we fill out the proper land-use permits and don’t raise a fuss if the cops (illegally) shut off our cameras or spray noxious chemicals in our eyes, and so long as we don’t shoot any of the people who deliberately conspired, both among themselves and with those in power, to sell each other shitty investments and inflate their numbers, those shitty investments being our houses and their numbers being wealth that somehow failed to trickle down, thus creating an entire mandarin class that can profit off of our misery but never suffer off of our loss,” and after this idea catches on, as it might in a country with 20% unemployment, resulting in a nationwide movement that has so far produced fewer injuries than the audience at a Raiders game, your objection is they don’t have a clear policy?

For pity’s sake, man. Policy got us into this mess.

Anyhow, quit your fretting. These unemployed electrical workers, college kids and perpetual punks aren’t going to do anything. The Ruling Party is already figuring out how to co-opt their movement. They’re already forming general assemblies and voting on (ugh) resolutions. Peter Finch has already been called into Ned Beatty’s office and had the nature of the cosmos explained to him. Sorry for the delay in your commute.

But come on, people. If policy will accomplish anything – and I remain skeptical – that’s later. Dissent comes first. Dissent always comes first. And when you’re up against a system so pervasive that even the protesters are documenting its abuses on iPhones, dissent may be all that you get.

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