Keep it simple, students

I’m pretty much at a loss for words viz. world events, legal events, economic events, or pretty much anything macro in nature. We are already at the front end of the effects of man-made climate change (snowstorms in October from which thousands are still without power coming less than two months after Hurricane Irene did the same thing, up against God knows what’s coming this winter… Texas and Oklahoma suffering insane droughts of dust-bowl magnitude), deficits galore but both “revenue increases” and “entitlement reform” both utterly unthinkable (my headline: “super-committee succumbs to super-rich and super-annuated”), the usually more sensible Europeans (certainly in how they live their lives) facing monetary chaos from Grecian Formula Financial Apocalypse, and back here, my Columbia ’83 college classmate, Barack Obama, the glib and articulate, but otherwise-nothing-to-recommend-him “Democrat”… governs from well to the right of Reagan (and in many cases, to the right of George W. Bush). And hence, the poor bastards at GTMO ain’t gettin’ out, the economy remains moribund, and “occupy” has taken hold of far more places than just the non-descript privately owned public square across the street from my office (a co-worker reported an Occupy Poughkeepsie movement) and we all know about Oakland, etc., etc….
Oh… and Jon “Such a Scumbag that even Goldman Sachs Got Rid of Him and New Jersey voted for a fat Republican instead of him” Corzine left the aptly named “MF Global” under, ahem, a cloud. Naturally, Corzine was being touted as the next Treasury Secretary. One suspects that he, like the rest of the financial class, is simply above the law, and even if investigations were to show that he– HE PERSONALLY– committed the outrageous theft of hundreds of millions of dollars in customer money– Eric “I never met a banker I could prosecute” Holder would still likely do… nothing.
It’s times like these, we need to reach inside for inner strength, or in my case… run another marathon, in this case, my eleventh consecutive ING New York City Marathon. Starting with a fleeter-than-I co-worker (who was celebrating her 34th birthday), the first 10-K or so was handled at an 11-minute pace, after which she dropped me to finish 51 minutes ahead of me. After that, the incessant crowds (a record 47,000+ runners), a pleasant but still chilly day, and most importantly, the effect of no long runs since Yonkers (in mid-September) took their toll, and I finished in just over 6 hours (including 5 or 6 miles in Manhattan and the Bronx balancing a Gatorade bottle on my head… and I discovered that I wasn’t moving any slower with the bottle there than I was just carrying it… and then a “joggler” (running while juggling) and a man in a chicken suit ran by….)
Anyway, other than suffering from an interminable cold (or is it allergies)… I feel great… I look forward to the 26.2 mile mardi gras that the NYC has become every year, and, year in, year out, I use it as my main excuse to remain active (though I could use to be even more active… as could most of you!)
OK… I confess: blogging has become difficult if one can’t, or in my case, don’t want to, pontificate with either complaints or policy prescriptives about the macro… especially of the left/right kabuki narrative constructed to keep us occupied (as it were!) But I think it’s going to be more productive to confine ourselves to the micro… set about developing crucial survival skills (basic carpentry, cooking, perhaps growing or gathering (hunting and fishing could be helpful), bicycle repair, sewing… and of course, making friends). And of course, keeping our physical and mental health as sound as possible… God knows our countrymen are hellbent on not doing that… but I think you’ll be happier if you did. Maybe reconcile with long-lost loved ones of all kinds… because, to quote George W. Bush about our whole gestalt– the economy, our garrison state, possibly our social order– “this sucker’s going down.”
Best be prepared– even if the laws of nature and the universe can be suspended indefinitely, and somehow our society of SUVs and McMansions and student loans and jumbo mortgages and outsourced everything can go on forever– learning those sorts of “useful skills” is still fun and rewarding, and indeed, will help fill the missing voids that an everything-is-about-money-system, based as it is on impersonal transactions, just never can. (Just in case you were wondering why our modern life seems so much less rich and satisfying than the lives of your grandparents, even if their lives lacked i-phones.)