Thursday, September 29, 2011

Reader Mail: The Recession and ‘Baggery

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Boss -

longtime reader and huge fan. Thought of you this wknd whilst reading the good (and all kidding aside, sad actually) 3 part series in the LAT about victims of the great recession.

One of the three was a heavily tatted out former owner of a recording studio who is now unemployed and acknowledged to the author of the series that perhaps the ink all over his arms might be hurting his job search…

Nothing funny about it given the 4 kids but did contain an instructive anecdote about some bagling admiring his tatts and the guy snapping at him that he regrets every single one. Or something to that effect.

Please let me know when you call the bottom, for it is then that I will invest my life savings in tattoo removal technology and service providers. Like all bubbles, this will burst.

Meantime keep up the great work.

Bilbodouchebaggins
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I’m one of those who sees the great recession as somewhat of a good, or maybe just a necessary thing.

Our entire social fabric of the mid 2000s was corroded by a cesspool of preening narcissism, self indulgence, ego, greed, and vacuous navel gazing. It was a dark time.

Our nation spent those pre-crash years in a state of utter denial. Fetishizing the richest and assholiest among us for living a life of unfettered greed. The Douchebag, as an icon, began as a denial of community, responsibility, logic and education. A Cult of the Know-Nothing Self. Preening ego self-worship as virtue, rather than vice. We still see these impulses today, although they’ve given way to more violent forms of rhetoric like racism and xenophobia.

Back then it was credit card consumption as replacement for the boring realities of actual life. Bigger and bigger SUVs and Hummers, with shittier and shittier mileage, just to prove what badasses we were.

A giant f-you to everyone but ourselves and our own desires to gratify whatever urges we had. Thus, douchebag culture.

Then the bill came.

For all the Grey Goose and Red Bull shooters we ordered without checking the price first.

Finally paying the real-world cost for action we took that we couldn’t pay for is, in the end, a good thing. So long as we learn the harsh lessons about the corrupt douche culture we indulged in for far too long.

# posted by douchebag1
2:16 pm September, 29 The Reverend Chad Kroeger said...

That’s pretty good DB1. But there is a shitload more than that that happened. And boobies.

2:36 pm September, 29 Don von Douchehoven said...

It’s just good to see that Ed Hardy made it to the WalMart clearance shelf just in time

2:39 pm September, 29 SomeGuy said...

If you held him upside down by his feet, he’d make one helluva toilet brush. Or a brush for cleaning a post-douchannalia pool in Vegas. Come to think of it, that’s just a bigger toilet.

2:41 pm September, 29 SomeGuy said...

Mrs. Farnsworth tells Mr. Farnsworth that the reason she had the minivan windows tinted to an impenetrable shade was for privacy, making no mention of her using it to bang choads in the parking lot of young Baxter Farnsworth’s exclusive private school.

2:49 pm September, 29 IL Douché said...

Is that a marmot-skin wall behind these two dolts?

3:00 pm September, 29 tall guy said...

Is that a toothbrush on top of his head?

3:07 pm September, 29 creature said...

she’s delightfully thick around the bullseyes!

3:20 pm September, 29 Dr. Bunsen HoneyDouche said...

Uh dude, you gotta little sumthin’ hangin’ outta the crotch of them there jeans you got on and it’s pretty embarrassing considering you’re a brother and all. Just sayin’…

3:22 pm September, 29 Wedgie said...

Cool photo; first time I’ve ever seen prolapsed testicles.
Note to Rev. Chad: No videos please.

3:37 pm September, 29 Vin Douchal said...

He’s bringing it. And by bringing it I mean his mom gave him a ride and is waiting outside in the Scion reading Danielle Steele until the dance lets out.

5:06 pm September, 29 schlicht bindenburger said...

she’s 36, has mumbum and seen better days….he’s a sad excuse for a man! what if it rains and there aint no brollies avail?

5:35 pm September, 29 troy tempest said...

he looks like a cross between a chimp, a badger, and troll doll. That is if the troll doll, chimp, and badger were all retarded,

5:36 pm September, 29 troy tempest said...

and she looks like a soccer mom gone to seed, mostly by sucking cock for seed.

5:51 pm September, 29 hermit said...

Pregnant women with rosacea positioned seductively in front of the skins of varmints have always been a huge turn-on.

6:04 pm September, 29 The Reverend Chad Kroeger said...

Sorry Wedgie. I must amuse myself. The great thing about being stoned all the time is the neuropathy doesn’t hurt as much. The bad thing about being stoned all the time is being stoned all the time to avoid pain. The super-duperest is that I think I will have a cure in place by the end of October. I think the cure is to go back on all the drugs I got off last year.
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Perhaps I can explain better with a graphic device:
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_jUkhEd8co

6:46 pm September, 29 Wedgie said...

^That fuccen Tommy Shaw isn’t getting any taller, is he?
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girls with guns.

7:06 pm September, 29 Anonymous said...

Solid write up Mr. Lewis.

8:23 pm September, 29 DarkSock said...

I say every Wall Street douche and preening bag simply gives Ron Jeremy a hummer and we call it even and move on…line up bitches

8:30 pm September, 29 Laowaiink said...

The truth.

9:12 pm September, 29 idfma said...

Dark, if you throw in tossing his salad, you’ve got yourself a deal. That, and they can’t use taxpayer money to give any more bonuses to the dickwads who fucked the economy in the first place.

9:34 pm September, 29 Medusa Oblongata said...

I hear cries of anguish from my simpy, Prius driving friends about their current station in life and watch as they bandy about the article about forgiving student debt as a means to stimulate the economy. Heh. Even the goody two-shoes-es who did the extra stretch in college are weeping over their poor life choices. Over here in Gorgon country, we’re breeding tomato plants and stockpiling ammo. We wanna be ready when the unemployment hits 15% and these cunts start rioting.

5:13 am September, 30 douche equis said...

“Our entire social fabric of the mid 2000s was corroded by a cesspool of preening narcissism, self indulgence, ego, greed, and vacuous navel gazing.”
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Well put, but did I sleep through the part of human history that was _not_ like this? That idyllic fete champetre of a time where everyone loved everyone else, worried not about their own image, sacrificed and worked hard for the benefit of all and not just themselves, and failed to write/film/create art regarding their difficult struggle and immortalize what wonderful people they were? Where conspicuous consumption among the wealthy did not exist, and where those whose ideological or inability-to-compete-ical position caused them to complain loudly about it? When was this exactly?
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Maybe sometime when we were at war (though I doubt it), but other than that, I think this complaint is largely redundant with the state of human affairs. ‘Twas ever thus, here and everywhere. Human venality is a constant.
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*and for those would would like to offer up the 1960s as such an edenic period, I give you my anticipatory response — oh please. Jerry Rubin’s subsequent career by itself puts the lie to that one, and I will go on if forced to.

5:48 am September, 30 idfma said...

Douche Equis, you make a mostly valid point. Before douchiness, exploitation was the word of the day. However, you can look through human history and find isolated examples of groups of people who shared values like community, coexistence, harmony with the envrionment, helping each other survive before accumulating as much as possible, etc. The native americans in this country provide a decent example of that. You know, when they weren’t killing each other over the best hunting grounds.
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Yes, the fact is that we have always gorged ourselves whenever possible usually by fucking with each other and taking everything we could. What makes me sad is that a lot of us–throughout human existence have been able to conceive of/visualize an existence where instead of advarsaries we cooperate–where we work as a collective whole to (feed) improve everyone–not just those who won the genetic or cosmic lottery. The point is we have (had?) the capacity to make very different choices, and even though Utopia will never be, maybe there is a middle ground between taking as much as possible and giving everything to the ‘common good’ (as if there is such a thing).

6:16 am September, 30 Douche Wayne said...

Stafford, Fish Slap and Kade all continue their awkward conversation around the empty Goose bottle, each waiting and hoping for one of the others to pick up the check.

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Brilliant commentary

6:29 am September, 30 Hermit said...

Medusa and douche equis are spot on.
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Yep, many citizens of this country learned the harsh lessons of spending more money than they make with the loss of their jobs, security and homes.
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Apparently our bloated federal government has not.
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Their answer to mounting debt:
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Borrow more money and SPEND, SPEND, SPEND BABY!!
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As a recovered liberal, I understand the consternation and hand-wringing of the Political Left. I came to an epiphany when in my mid-thirties, and finally identified the thing always seems to to get in the way on the road to Utopia:
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It’s called REALITY!!!

6:40 am September, 30 Douche Equis said...

I hate it when I write that much and one of my sentences ends up not making sense. Let me try again.
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Where conspicuous consumption among the wealthy did not exist, so that those whose ideological or inability-to-compete-ical position would have caused them to complain loudly about it did not have to do so?
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There, I feel better now.
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Yes, idfma, there is a position between the two extremes of the state of nature and the state of Utopia. Our country’s political system as currently constituted is one such position. While some complain bitterly about the rich, others complain bitterly about subsidies for the lazy. This tells me that we are in the middle somewhere.

6:43 am September, 30 idfma said...

DE, if ‘middle’ = ‘on the brink of collapse’ or ‘fading hegemon about to get karate chopped by Asia’ you are correct.

6:51 am September, 30 idfma said...

By the way, DE, economically speaking, I will take the lazy, subsidized fucks over this shit:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44729175/ns/business-us_business/
every time. Do you know how many subsidies $13 million could pay for? A fucking lot. Also, when ranting about ‘lazy, entitled, blood sucking welfare recipients’ always remember and never forget somewhere north of 60% of them are children.

7:06 am September, 30 Douche Equis said...

I don’t see how you personally are harmed by outsized CEO pay packages; the shareholders of those companies are harmed. I can choose not to purchase products or services from such companies, either because I object to the pay practices, or because their prices will be uncompetitive.
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Whereas we all pay for welfare recipients. Or more correctly, the 50% of us who pay Federal income tax pay for them.
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It is of course a touchy subject, but that’s nothing new to this site . . .I’m curious as to whether, when you point out that 60% of welfare recipients are children, you stop to wonder whether people who cannot afford to pay for their own lives should be having children? Possibly they don’t understand the economics of parenthood. Perhaps you feel they are entitled to simply continue procreating to whatever extent they want, with the tab picked up by others. I have trouble subscribing to that view. To anticipate your response — “so, only the rich are allowed to have children?” No, but I think a responsible person holds off on childbearing if he or she cannot afford to raise the child properly. Many people do.
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And I’m not sure who was “ranting”, but I don’t think it was me. Nor was it me who turned “lazy”, a characterization I wasn’t even offering as my own, into ‘lazy, entitled, blood sucking welfare recipients,’ placed in quotation marks as though I had said it. You shouldn’t do that.

7:14 am September, 30 Troy Tempest said...

The recession was planned. Long in advance. The banksters knew it was bullshit from the start, and they hedged themselves even as they sold their bullshit loans to any dumbass who would buy them.

Now these leeches are simply looting the Treasury directly. Why bother sucking the life out of the working class when you can have the govt give you trillions to cover your mistakes.

In a more just world, these fuckers would be either in Jail (viz Iceland) or lined up and shot (viz China). It’s a class war, and the rich are winning. When they have finally won, the earth will lay in ruins.

7:23 am September, 30 Douche Equis said...

The recession was planned. Long in advance. The banksters knew it was bullshit from the start, and they hedged themselves even as they sold their bullshit loans to any dumbass who would buy them.

It sounds like you might have missed some of the news on that period. Bear Stearns and Lehman both vanished off the face of the earth. AIG nearly died and went on governmental life support. Merrill Lynch had to sell itself to Bank of America to stay alive. Goldman might very well have bitten the big one, but managed not to. Numerous banks mortgage originators, including New Century, American Home Mortgage, and Countrywide either went under or were sold for a song. All of these companies lost billions, some tens of billions, of dollars.
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Given those outcomes of this “planned” recession, as you call it, if this is what you call “hedging themselves” I’d say they did a damn bad job of it.

8:36 am September, 30 Medusa Oblongata said...

…^ Or, could it be like this: “Okay, so, AIG, Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers are gonna eat it this time. BOA, you’re gonna pick up Merrill Lynch, and, hey, all you guys from Bear, have fun on your trip to Maui, we’ll see you here when you get back, we’ll see what we can put together next.” A hearty “Huzzah” and the clink of champagne glasses follows, and a bunch of rich old men chuckle at the consolidation of a fiscal superpower, subsidized by the US Government. Just a [conspiracy] theory.

8:36 am September, 30 Medusa Oblongata said...

Either way, I’m loving my new Mosin Nagant. Gonna shoot me some food this winter.

8:45 am September, 30 Magnum Douche P.I. said...

I come to this place for a good laugh almost every day and it’s pretty much a given I’ll get one.

“Pregnant women with rosacea positioned seductively in front of the skins of varmints have always been a huge turn-on.”

Hermit, nice !

9:28 am September, 30 Anonymous said...

Goldman Sachs survied because it is Government Sachs. When the you have people like Robert Rubin, Hank Paulson and Larry Summers connected to Government Sachs, there’s a reason it didn’t go under. Same with AIG. AIG goes so does GS. Do you really wonder why the EU is so fucking concerned with Greece? Let me clue it in – it’s not the anal sex in the literal sense. It’s the metaphoric ass raping that GS will take if the Greek bonds default. They are up to their prolapsed rectums in Greek bonds.

Troy is right, the banksters are leaching and bleeding the Middle Class and poor in this new American Corporatocracy. And the Democrats and Republicans are both in on it.

The difference in choosing between the two is best expressed like this. Would you rather be run over by a loaded dump truck with the driver giving you the finger or a flower delivery truck with the driver giving you the finger?

If you want to stop Wall Street crony casino style capitalism, and return it to the days when Main Street went to Wall Street to raise the money to make America work, send Lloyd Blankfein to a Federal, Pound Me In The Ass Prison (courtesy of Matt Tiabbi).

12:08 pm September, 30 Douche Equis said...

Well, how can one argue with reasoned discourse like that?
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They are up to their prolapsed rectums in Greek bonds.
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I hate to be a wet blanket and respond with facts, and this isn’t perhaps the most wonderful of sources, but it’s more than you presented:
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http://articles.businessinsider.com/2010-02-15/wall_street/30029418_1_goldman-sachs-goldman-first-swaps
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“Despite its role in creating swaps that may have allowed the Greek government to mask its growing debts, Goldman has no net exposure to a default on Greek debt, a person familiar with the matter says.”
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Rather like those who jarringly insisted that Bush was both an idiot AND an evil mastermind furthering a nefarious Christianofascist agenda, your argument seems to be that Goldman Sachs is both perfectly well connected and therefore invincible AND too stupid not to hold tons of Greek bonds. Yeah, OK. Those guys are a bit smarter than that. They know how to lay off their bets, just like a bookie. If you think they stood there holding billions in Greek bonds, well, I’ll bet you a few drachmas that they didn’t.
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I know it’s great fun to say “prolapsed rectums” and “banksters” and “ass rapings” and feel like you’re very profound and with it, but when the facts aren’t in evidence, it really doesn’t work that well.
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Finally, you seem to have some sort of odd anal fixation. Just sayin’.

12:11 pm September, 30 Dr. Bunsen HoneyDouche said...

@ Medusa
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You’er allowed to shoot that thing in FOIDistan? I woulda thought that all guns would’ve been outlawed there by now ;) Picked up a new one of these last weekend (Remington 887 Nitromag). Just gotta clean it up and then BLAM BLAM BLAM!

12:27 pm September, 30 idfma said...

DE, you must be a Tea Partier, since you have such a selective perception–we all paid for the bank bailout, and the bonuses paid therefrom–remember? Or were you so focused on that news story about the woman who traded her food stamps for vodka during the Reagan years that you missed the S&L, several in the1990s, and 2008 bailouts? Here, let me buy that bitch some vodka–right out of my own pocket–look I have some money left over.
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Give me a fucking break–just once I’d like to see a little intellectual honesty from you all, and some recognition that tax dollars have been REPEATEDLY used to bail out banks that should have failed. A couple went out of business for losing millions and in some cases BILLIONS of fucking dollars that were mostly other people’s money? That’s the free market you and yours crow about. Cry me a river–the ones we bailed out with taxpayer dollars should have failed too and they need to get in line next to the welfare mothers. Those executives don’t hurt me? My ass. They hurt our whole fucking economy.
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Oh, Anon? Fuckin’ A right.

2:01 pm September, 30 douche equis said...

Hmmm, well, I seem to be having trouble posting a reply.

2:13 pm September, 30 Stephanie said...

Snap to attention,it is a class war,and the middle class are being starved to death,and the bank is taking away your homes. And in turn you get a job that pays 10 buck an hour. Not exactly a living wage. Oh,and that idiot’s hair in the picture above is from the Walmart Halloween isle. Happy Friday.

2:30 pm September, 30 douche equis said...

try a smaller part . . .

(It’s remarkable how I’ve gone from making a “mostly valid point” to being a nefarious Tea Partier!)
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Idfma, you really ought to consider trying to present your arguments without the ad homimem, name-calling, and strawmanic ascribings of opinions to your interlocutor that he has not expressed. (Not to mention putting things in quotation marks that he did not say. Did I miss your apology for that?) Not everyone you speak to is saying everything you’ve heard before; not everyone is part of that great monolith “Opposed To Idfma”). Pardon me if I don’t choose to respond to each of your many puttings of words in my mouth, but I don’t have the energy.
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I have very clear memories of the S&L bailouts of the 1980s, given that I was working across the street from one that went under at the time. Contrary to your posting, I don’t recall saying that I was unaware that these bailouts, or any others, went on. But I’m afraid you don’t really understand the issues, or the causes, and I don’t have the time on a Friday afternoon to explain it all to you.

2:31 pm September, 30 douche equis said...

Your original complaint about executive pay linked to an article about the heads of HP, Bank of New York Mellon, and Yahoo. Were these companies all bailed out, and I missed it somehow? Logic seems to be lacking here. Regarding the companies that actually were bailed out recently, plenty of people at those firms lost both their jobs and lots of money. (And yes, you say, “cry me a river” . . . your lack of sympathy for those who engage in activities you neither understand nor approve of is noted.) Doubtless you can find people who did land on their financial feet, and it’s always easy to look for the standout examples to bolster an argument. Like [link censored to try to get this to post] for instance. But it’s not a very good way to argue, and doesn’t demonstrate a command of the facts. It’s just chest-beating.
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The government’s job is to provide a harness to keep unbridled capitalism in check. (Like that metaphor?) Throughout history there have been, and will continue to be, instances where those participating in the system manage to find ways to get past the regulation – or, and I haven’t even discussed this, are just not as smart as they thought they were – get themselves way out on the edge, and crash and burn. This keeps happening, yet our economy keeps going, and going, and going. That’s the beauty of it.
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I’m afraid that’s all I have time for this evening. In closing, I’ll suggest that a smart fellow like yourself could probably benefit from reading a few books on these topics (The Big Short comes to mind as one you might enjoy); you can emerge with the same opinions you have now, but you’ll argue with much better effect than your current method, throwing “Tea Partier” names around and accusing someone who [censored] of not being “intellectually honest.”

2:52 pm September, 30 douche equis said...

crap. in between those posts should have come this. Sorry to go on so long:

So here’s the short version — insufficient regulation and oversight. And ’twas ever thus. While one would like to think these things are all new to one in one’s own lifetime, they are not. The financial world is one long game of people trying to make money vs. the government trying to stay current with regulation in the face of innovation by smart people trying to make a buck. Failures of the regulatory harness can be seen at least as far back as the absurdly low margin requirements that fed the Great Crash. The failure to oversee appropriately the S&Ls led to that crisis. Failure to sufficiently regulate the very new derivatives emerging in the past 20 years led (in large part) to the recent problems. (Coupled with government intervention in the housing market in the form of Fannie and Freddie, the mortgage deduction, and the government-sponsored desire to have everyone live the American dream and own a house. You know, those things to which the left has always been so stalwartly opposed. Yes, they were a major contributor.)

7:47 am October, 3 Medusa Oblongata said...

@ DR. BHD–indeed I do. I’m in central IL now, it’s far more lax than Chicago. We can have anything here, except full auto, of course. We just have to have the FOID before we can purchase any guns, and we have to show it to purchase ammo as well. I was in indianapolis a few weeks back and got to shoot an AK for the first time. Ironic, since I already own 2 of them and it’s a pain in the ass to find a range where we can take it, most places only allow pistols and shotguns for some reason. So we gotta haul ass another 30 miles south, but it’s worth the drive.
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RE the remington: let me know how you like it, I’ve been eyeballing one myself. I’m not a huge shotgun fan, but I have an Ithaca and I’ve been eyeing an antique Remington coach gun a friend is selling off….

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