Where is our Misery Index? Has it been stolen? Where did it go? I want answers!
I was out at Point Reyes today hiking along the Arch Trail to the coast and I suddenly realized our Misery Index is missing! There I was, just thumping along the trail taking a few pictures and humming a few meditational tunes (this is the San Francisco Bay Area after all) and thinking how good it feels to be out here experiencing the wonderful oneness with Mother Earth and not being miserable sitting about the house, and suddenly a light turned on in my memory. And not one of those Earth-friendly ones either but a 200 watt sucker! Where has our misery index gone? I need to write my Senator, SENATOR Barbara Boxer and Representative, The Swamp Queen; Nancy Pelosi and demand they investigate. I want answers NOW!
If you’re reading this and wondering what I ate for breakfast this morning you’re younger than I am. Most people over 35 should remember the Misery Index of the 80’s and early 90’s. It was a chart the news media put on the nightly news showing the unemployment rate, inflation, interest rate percentages, gasoline costs, electricity costs and other factors. They created it about the day Jimmy Carter did the ONLY correct thing of his presidency by leaving office after President Ronald Reagan helped him find the door. While President Reagan was taking the oath of office in January 1981 the media was hunched over their desks across this nation smoking cigarettes and thinking and plotting; of the two, most of it was plotting, for their not too good at the thinking. And after using a broken calculator and matchsticks they invented the Misery Index. I think one of them won a Nobel Prize in the creative propaganda category.
And for the next eight years of President Reagan’s Presidency and into the four years of President Bush Senior’s only term, we were tortured with this work of creative art! Nightly we were placed under duress, watching the news clips of the endless lines at the unemployment office. Then they were dragging homeless people out from under bridges and getting them to tell the American People how their plight was all Reagan’s fault. Then they would go find some single mother with seven children and get her to cry about how hard it is to survive on entitlements.
I recall one reporter airing a segment where he documented a park that was full of trash because he said that there was no money to pay for littler cleanup. Then a local newspaper reporter in the same small town reported the arrest of the news crew for littering because they were caught dumping garbage cans onto the park lawn to make it look as bad as possible. But at least they were doing it to show us how miserable we should be! If they had done that today in San Francisco it would have been declared art and they would have been awarded a citizenship award by Mayor Newsom.
So I want to know, where Our Misery Index has gone? Someone please go look under Dan Rather s bed. I know he probably has it rat-holed somewhere. We deserve to know how miserable we are today just like we did 30 years ago. If I recall, it melted away about the time William Jefferson Clinton started hanging his wife-beater tee-shirt on the post of the Presidential bed in 1993. And then it sort of started to show up again in 2001 when President George W Bush took office. But then it disappeared again after 9/11 for we had more serious matters to turn our attention to.
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But we as Americans have a right to know how miserable we are under our current circumstances and with the current leadership, or should I say lack of leadership in the Whitehouse. Back during the Reagan Administration, the news media used up half the nightly news hour showing, telling and explaining to us how bad things were! Now we get the unemployment numbers once per month on the first Friday of the month and then: it disappears! But they have far more important matters to tell us about. Like Elmer Peddlemeyer who just turned 98 and still has all his teeth. Well at least I can sleep tonight knowing that! Or how movie stars in Beverly Hills are doing their part to help the environment by using only a single sheet of toilet paper! I won’t sleep well tonight knowing that.
I want the news media to show us clips on those endless lines of the unemployed again! And interview some of the homeless. Of course now they are a lot easier to find and it is not just some unwashed guy that smells of cheap wine and urine but entire families! Think of the ratings and advertisement dollars that would bring in! Why, the reporter can interview the father, mother and the children! That will grab the headlines. Why, I can see a Pulitzer Prize just under that bridge in the shadows. And how about looking at the price of gas? I was in a store this morning and a young woman came in and purchased $2.00 of gas on pump 9. Do you think maybe she is just being conservative with her money? Or perhaps she is just barely scrapping by. A good reporter can make a story out of this young woman’s plight. And just how much gas can you buy for $2.00 these days? Is that all?
But today the media can do so much more with the Misery Index. What with the internet, camera phones, and all the new media technology to work with today, they can do a bang-up job throwing the Misery Index in our face twenty-four hours a day. Why, it could be nonstop misery! Perhaps even a reality show or two to top up the ratings. One show could document a middle-class blue-collar family where the father lost his job and the wife and teenage kids have to do all these odd jobs to keep from losing the house? Or a show that each week highlights a small business person who is going out of business! It can document when he or she has to lay off employees and goes into deep depression. You can show him turning red and sweating profusely each time he answers the phone and it is a collection company demanding payment. Each weeks show could close with the business owner having a nervous breakdown or a heart attack! I would suggest the title for the show, “The Biggest Looser!” But that title is all ready taken and besides, it might confuse the viewer into thinking the show is about the president.
Why, here in California there are reports of illegal aliens LEAVING the USA and returning to their country of origin because it’s too hard to make it here. Now that sounds like a top priority news article to demonstrate to the American People how freaking miserable they should be feeling! But it might start a stampede of Americans across the border. That is when the Mexican Government will pay for and erect the fence on their side of the border.
So why is it that the media is not exploiting this rating gold mine? I mean the vast majority of them are stupid but the executives are greedy for ratings and profit. So why not? Could it be that they don’t want us to know how miserable we really are? Perhaps they have motives other than simply keeping the American People informed. I mean would anyone today be dense enough to compare the level of misery today to even the worst year of the Reagan Administration and try to tell the American People they are better off today? How high does the Misery Index have to go before America has no HOPE or CHANGE left?
The truthful answer is that the mainstream media is sacrificing their first born to keep the truth from the American People. They are sacrificing ratings, profit and their very careers to hide the Misery Index from the People of America. They will do anything to Keep the Dream Alive in the hope that it will change into reality before the misery of this country and its people boils over and thickens into RAGE.
I know where our Misery Index is. It has been pushed in the back of a dark closet and buried under trashy reporting by the drive by media. I have to hand it to them in that they are creative. I mean they have been working hard for two years now as the opening act for a no-show main act! They have been keeping the show going, tap dancing around critical issues, telling us bad jokes with absolutely no element of truth to them and dragging it out. All in their effort to hide from us the truth: That the Misery Index Chart is maxed out. And it is still going higher each week now. They promised us a top performing main act but the lead actor showed up toasted! President Obama is a No Show! They said he was a super star but after two years of misery he has proved to be a washout. And they are running out of jokes, one liners and BS.
So dig the Misery Index out of the closet, clean the coffee stains off of it and start telling the American People the truth. Send Elmer Peddlemeyer a birthday card and we will go see the movie stars at the theater. But stop with the BS. The Misery Level in America is boiling over and the Rage is simmering. And right now the only ones standing between a bunch of Americans that are mad as hell and those responsible are the idiots that think they can keep the lid on the pressure cooker with BS and lies, the mainstream media.
I want my Misery Index. I want it NOW!