This kind of cold fury, articulated so beautifully in song by the "Rockabilly Filly," Rosie Flores, seems ready to explode from many an angry breast these days. The hell of it is, though, a good many of the objects of our wrath just don't seem to care or even to realize that we're royally pissed.
For the benefit of some of you misguided--or, more likely, simply perverse--souls who do not embrace college football as the true epicenter of the human experience, the performance of the University of Georgia's football team this season has been not simply underwhelming but, in great measure, downright embarrassing. Famously stoic to the point of apparent catatonia, Mark Richt, our coach, has been catching a lot of flak in the media and on the blogs, but to hear him tell it, he is oblivious to all the controversy. According to Richt, at church, which he never misses, "Someone will say, 'I'm praying for you,' and I'm like, 'Man, it must be pretty bad out there.'"
In addition to the fact that our coach sounds like a Valley Girl, this observation is sad on too many levels to enumerate. One of them, certainly, is that anybody would think it necessary or proper to pester God about the fortunes of somebody whose salary is north of $3 million annually. The second is that anyone can actually haul in this much loot for a job that involves nothing more than slapping a bunch of 18-22 year olds on the butt for roughly five months a year and giving a few speeches to a bunch of guys who are generally disposed to be putty in the hands of anyone who has "coach" hung before his name. Perhaps there is no sadder aspect here, however, than Richt's apparent surprise that a guy who makes roughly forty times as much as the poor saps who are trying to teach the guys whose butts he slaps could somehow be subjected to genuinely critical scrutiny by a second group of even bigger saps who write the checks that pay his big salary. Sorry coach, when you're getting $250 K per game win or lose, you better not make a habit of losing because even a super-devout Jesus-man like you doesn't get that kind of pass, especially when you're 6-4 with what many think is 9-1 talent. (Let's face it, at least the bailed-out banker-shysters [see below] made money when they were feasting on a steady diet of ours.)
This little tempest in the local tea pot pales rapidly into insignificance, of course, compared to the current uproar over the arrogance of the Wall Street banking crowd. These would be the people whose unbridled greed and flagrant dishonesty took us to the brink of economic destruction just a few months back and who are now looking to collect bonuses that make the likes of Mark Richt look like a food-stamp qualifier. The architects of the 1929 crash that ushered in the Great Depression at least had the decency to throw themselves off window ledges, for God's sake! Now, eighty years later, instead of splattering themselves on the pavement, their contemporary counterparts don't even feel enough shame or embarrassment to turn down obscenely large bonuses that should rightly be going instead to all the folks whose lives they ruined.
Take "Goldmine" Sachs, as Maureen Dowd so aptly refers to it, where a former banker and one-time employee insists, the culture is "completely money-obsessed. . . There's always room--need--for more. If you're not getting a bigger house or a bigger boat, you're falling behind." It was such greed, sufficient to make Gordon Gecko seem downright altruistic, that led the Goldminers, along with their soul mates at "More-Gain" Stanley and J. P. "More-Gain" to throw a good many of us eager to board the retirement bus under said bus instead, thanks to their various finaglements. Their true reward should have been a choice spot selling apples on the windiest corner in Chicago. Instead they're preening and strutting around talking about how well they've done operating with our bailout funds.
Now this unholy trio alone is about to reward their mendacious minions to the tune of roughly $30 billion (Yes, that's a "b"), a 60 percent increase over last year's forkover. Meanwhile, this bunch is no doubt well along in the process of conjuring up more imaginary assets to fuel more of the creative investment "vehicles" that directly or indirectly carried a lot of the bankrupt, unemployed Americans straight into the quicksand that's lapping at their earlobes today.
Bad as the shameless arrogance of the moneychangers is, even it ain't as bad as the apparent obliviousness of the Obama crowd, who are cheerfully serving as enablers for this bunch of thieves. Some say Oby himself has bent over backward for Wall Street, but I'd say he's gone to 90 degrees in precisely the opposite direction. One thing for sure, his treasury secretary, Timothy Geitner, seems to have made squealing like a pig his sole purpose in life, as he goes merrily about, defending loopholes that will undermine efforts to regulate these damnable "derivatives" that have done such a number on so many people in so many places. The Oby crowd's pandering to Wall Street puts the Republicans, who have defended this sort of chicanery for eons, way back in the deep shade. In fact, even if the Repubs wanted to lip lock the butt cheeks of the barons of finance, they'd have to elbow their way through a passel of Democrats, not to mention the folks at the CDC who laid some 200 doses of H1N1 vaccine on the crowd at Goldman while leaving scads of New Yorkers in the supposedly high-priority, "at-risk" categories (children, pregnant women, and young adults under 24) to fend for their insignificant selves. Although bonafide "at-riskers" are probably in short supply in their shop, Goldman reportedly had asked for 5,400 hits of the vaccine. To be fair to them, they probably didn't realize that swine flu seems to pose no threat to actual swine. Still, although the relationship between "swine" and "flu" seems purely eponymous (Look it up!) at this point, if I were one of the "bonus babies," I don't think I'd blow any of my loot just now on a trip to Egypt, where, choosing to err on the side of caution, epidemic-wary officials simply sent the entire pig population to that big smoke house in the sky.
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