There are a lot of things one might say about the times in which we live. Here are a few terms which come to mind right this second: Creative. Untraditional. Pioneering. Voracious. Larcenous. Insatiable. Limitless.
Put it this way: If our times were a go-kart, we'd slap 40 kinds of governors on the thing, pull off the wheels, drain off all its life-giving fluids, wrap it in bales of jet-fuel-soaked hay, and bring in the healing fire of flame-throwers. We'd even lob in a few Molotov-cocktail-cases of thermite-and-white-phosphorous grenades for good measure.
Then, when the molten slag cooled, and the worst of our glare-burns had been treated, we'd hack apart the pieces with cutting torches, and ship the chunks to distant galaxies, on a hundred different spacecraft, in the hopes of forestalling reunion of the pieces for as long as humanly possible.
(An added plus would be the shot in the arm of this country's space program. Based on the renewed, full-speed-ahead activity to save our species, we'd rediscover the benefits and boons of a fully-functional space program and thriving industry, while marvelling at the numbers of product and services -- and jobs -- created, allowing us to get to work fixing the nation's aging, 1940s infrastructure with the booming, coast-to-coast kick-start in the tax base.)
Of course, this will never happen, even though sci-fi plotlines since the 1920s have told us the only way the species will band together and defeat a common enemy is from an outside, repulsive, alien threat.
And, of course, we know that sort of plotline no longer applies, because the right-wing is still with us, in a spectacular array of diverse psychoses and stunning, baffling ailments. This banding-together thing, to defeat a common world or national threat, became a blindingly apparent failure of the species with the continuation of Ronald Reagan as president.
By 1984, the Full Boat Crazy was on the poker table as the hand to beat, and all the chips were down, and out, and drowned out back, where no-one could hear their whimpers, moans, and death rattles. Who says History has no sense of humor, irony, or appreciation of the works of George Orwell?
It was a swell year, 1984. Then as now: War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
Well, no matter. In the wink -- or nervous twitch -- of an eye, at least in geologic terms, all that feverish espousal of trickle-down economics would soon be recanted by the high financial priests of the land, but only when they got up to stretch out their muscles, gone lame from having lounged on all those hard sacks of gold bars sacked in raids on S&Ls, burgled from shakedowns by the financial industry, and raided from the vast lakes of 401(k) retirement funds created solely for Wall Street and crony pilfering in The Big Con of the American public.
Yes, it was probably a misquote from the original, that old adage: The right wing psychotics will always be with you. It's an easy mistake to make. Completely understandable, what with the endless chains of translations involving Greek, Latin, Aramaic, Babylonian, and who knows what all in the mumbo-jumbo and limbo of the jingoistic lingo stew of the times.
(You know the old demonstration of starting a rumor on one side of the room, and having a number of people repeat it -- then checking to see what the ending rumor was like, and comparing it with the original, to see how much it had morphed? Yes, well -- try the same experiment, but with each person speaking different pairs of languages, hearing one but relaying the heard rumor with another, and see what you get at the end. Besides a migraine, I mean.)
But, no matter. The bankruptcy laws sorted out the collapse of the S&Ls. The financial industry was fined a nickel for every billion dollars stolen. All was forgiven, Again. And a new trend was begun, in which yet another new industry sprouted roots, wings, and tentacles: How to Steal the American Public's Retirement and Pension Funds, with No Repercussions from The Law, and No Awareness by (or Objections from) the Masses.
Best of all, nobody went to jail, not bankers, and not even the hundreds of thousands of families who were soaked with sudden, very bad financial news and who were sucked either partially or wholly down the impersonal drainage pipe of Best o' Luck (TM) and Hold on Tight! (TM) brand Capitalism.
Of course, had any of that foul trickery and theft happened today, events would have had a completely different outcome: Yes, whole families would instead be packed off to debtors prisons in wholesale lots, and be stripped of any financial holdings or possessions via lawful forfeiture, and all goods sold off (or kept) by the very same bankers who bankrupted them, and had been left free and untouched.**
Carting families off to jail for daring to owe money during a time when every penny needed to be accounted for, in order to be stolen, is one of the bullet points in the Family Values Charter. It appears to be, ironically enough, a hollow-point bullet point.
Yes, this global financial crisis helped solidify one of the implacable codes of Hammurabi, handed down to us through the eons by generations, via laws and lore, and still commands us all to this very day: Bankers always eat.