More blessings: great art in odd places. Poetry in a grain of bland. Home cooking in way more than 30 minutes. The personal that isn't political or fodder for monetization. The individual in living color and flawed resolution. Ideology don't mean a thing 'cause it ain't got the swing-- no matter which way it flies. As time trips along, pols who once seemed important are memory fades; gone friends and family live sharp in our heart. Ultimately, Cousin Ernie is more real than any suit in a government closet. No politician can save us-- or damn us. In foxholes nobody prays to the president. (Cursing is another thing.)
As the first decade of the 21st century draws to a close the question hovers; how did we-the-people become so crooked? Back in the day the majority of John and Jane Does might have filched paper clips from the boss but bank fraud for property would have been a balk. That so many (tho not all) average Americans have been willing to cheat for real estate is far more ominous than the games run by the likes of Countrywide, WaMu, Bear Stearns, or Fannie, Freddie and Bernie. Only chumps trusted Them.
Giant Bugs on Benders
In the 1950's giant bugs hit it big in the movies. So much so that millions of insects rushed to atomic test sites for radiation enhancement. Bug stars didn't need dialog-- they had faces. Ones with multi-faceted eyes and mandibles. Though the bugs didn't deliver lines, they buzzed, whirred and whistled. The 1954 sci-fi classic “Them” features a stellar cast of giant ants who do killer whir-whistle.
“Them” opens with two cops in a car spotting a little girl walking alone in the desert, carrying a broken doll. The child is in shock; she seems deaf and mute. The cops find a trailer nearby. They surmise that the girl and her parents had been camping. The parents are missing and the trailer is wrecked. Busted out at the seams. Sugar spilled everywhere. An ambulance arrives for the little girl. As she lies on a stretcher ready to go, a shrill whir-whistle is heard on the wind. Only the audience sees the girl sit up, her eyes wide with terror. Later, a scientist hip to the giant ant threat waves a bottle of formic acid (ant power juice) under the girl's nose. She suddenly ceases to be mute. Screaming “Them! Them!” over and over.
Word has it an updated remake is in the works. With the role of the parents beefed up. The parents buy their trailer with a liar loan. Faking their income and assets. Giant ants at the bank say “do it”. The parents try to flip the trailer for mega-profit. But the housing market turns into a desert. Then their ARM explodes. The trailer is busted out at the seams. The parents send the keys back to the bank via jingle mail and buy a McMansion before the foreclosure shows on their credit record. The new digs go down the same. The parents get written up in a newspaper and become the face of the Housing Crisis. Pols sniff formic acid (ant power juice) and scream “Them! Them!”. Taxpayers are tapped for more sugar. In the end, the whole family is shown tucked up snug in a FHA-backed mortgage.
The kiddie trauma thing is cut from the script. Too disturbing. Instead the little girl aces all her tests at school using techniques learned from her parents.
Brad and Angelina are supposedly set to play the parents. A casting call has gone out for giant ants who look good in bank garb. Word has it the director (Oliver Stone? David Cronenberg?) wanted the pols to be played by insects as well, but the money boys didn't like the idea of bugs being cast as our leaders. 'Cause the entertainment industry might eventually need a bailout from them, them.
Happy New Year! Hopefully not the same as the old year. Whatever-- no need to glum. The trip to more bountiful is sure to be fun.
Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff
Send comments or confidential tips by using the "contact author" button.