Folks, I am scared shitless. Yet I am unable to properly process this shitless feeling.
The economic situation is not good. In fact, it is very bad. I am regularly breaking out in cold sweats, dreaming of Suze Orman (not in a good way), and practicing my rendition of, "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" This is my life right now.
But I think my biggest problem with living in the middle of the current cataclysmic economic meltdown (other than the obvious), is that because in this modern world I am inundated with pop culture and iconic images all the time, my limited brain cannot fully process what is happening to me without the help of said pop culture and iconic images. (See Suze Orman / "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" references above.)
For example, when Mr. Pop Rocks and I discuss possible breeding at some point in the future, my mind is immediately catapulted to the image of that Depression mom with her forlorn face resting on her hand and her babies all around her. We can't have a kid now! It's the great Repression! We'll have a baby and suddenly I'll be in a cotton dress sitting in the middle of the Dust Bowl, and some dude from LIFE will be making a mint off my shattered visage.
I sit down to pay the bills, and I think about Roseanne and her working-class family scrimping and saving and having their lights turned off, and I think about the family on Good Times throwing a rent party, and I think about the hobos hitchin' a rail in an effort to find better work (which was part of a flashback on the already retro Mad Men series), and I think about Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath talking about whenever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, and so on and so forth.
"We're in the Money" is constantly stuck in my head, I'm thisclose to digging out the tent from the garage in case we end up in a Hooverville, and I'm wondering if Mr. PR will end up selling apples for a dime on a busy street corner while wearing a tattered felt hat.
I need help. I am unable to deal with this current crisis without my brain imploding with processed images. I have no imagination of my own. I cannot handle this moment without the assistance of other people's brain pictures. This is sad. This is the Great Depression MTV style, and frankly, I'm ashamed of myself.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.