Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bunk beds: How Generation X-Box prepares for the coming Depression

My New Years Resolution this year is to "Expect the best." But even while continuing to hope for the best at all times, it would be really stupid of me not to prepare for the worst.

Yes, I have been told a lot recently that it is politically incorrect to be dissing Republicans these days. However. I know what I know. And when George W. Bush stole the presidential election back in 2000, I knew instantly, given his past record for business failures, that GWB was gonna get the business of America into really big trouble just as soon as he could -- and so I've spent the last eight years trying to figure out ways to protect myself and my family from the coming ravages of the Bush Great Depression. I've already thought about buying gold, wearing second-hand clothes, saving every extra cent that comes my way, biking instead of driving, looking into grass huts in Mexico, melting down my mother's silver candlesticks, recycling leftovers, poking into free-boxes and planting a victory garden in my postage-stamp-sized back yard....

But for those of us living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Bush's Great Depression still hasn't arrived yet in full force. Sure we've got a few boarded-up storefronts here and there and a few homeless types running around, but that's about it. However, for our younger generations this new Great Depression has already become a quiet reality. It has already arrived. And for the members of America's "Generation X-Box", kids just out of high school, poverty is already staring them right in the face.

So. What have members of this latest American generation to hit the work-force learned about survival during economic hard times? How do they cope? In a word? "Bunkbeds."

When I went to visit my neighbor's 19-year-old son, he was living in a one-bedroom apartment -- with a set of bunkbeds in the living room, and a fold-out couch, and a roll-away bed. I didn't even ask to see the bedroom but imagine it contained even more bunkbed sets. Yikes! Was somebody sleeping under the kitchen table too?

"How do you ever get any privacy?" I asked. "When you have your girlfriend over, for instance, what do you do?"

"We are very quiet," my neighbor's son replied.

Good grief. I am hoping that Obama and Congress can fix the economy -- and not only so that Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the Bush neo-cons who caused all this mess in the first place won't be able to gloat when America goes under, but also because I have bad knees, can't climb a ladder and am afraid of heights.

PS: Why is the word "Limbaugh" present in Yahoo's spell-check dictionary but the word "Obama" is not?

PPS: Obama and Congress are never gonna be able to fix the economy by ignoring single-payer healthcare, giving fifty billion dollars to the creators of unlimited nuclear waste, giving tax cuts to the wealthy and cutting teachers' jobs. But still these elected officials who claim to represent US continue to ignore the needs of America's middle and working classes in favor of those of the wealthy. So instead of wishing and hoping for a fair and just stimulus package that will really work, maybe you and I ought to start preparing for the worst instead. I recommend Ikea. I hear that they are selling some really nice bunkbed sets. Or you could try Craig's List.