Sep 19, 2008, 05:57AM

Mr. Wrong

In which our suddenly penniless columnist pulls his hair out like a horrified Wall Street drone.

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Photo by epicharmus.

I got one of those 401(k) things where I work, and I'm supposed to drop money in it on the regular, to like, you know, invest in The Future (if I have one) and the 401(k) Internet-place has a thing where I can, in the comfort of my own home, in my underpants and lounging fez, look at My Money. Not as in, like, actual pictures of it, just these different li'l abstract chart-stacks or pie-slices I have it all arranged in so's I can Get Rich, but I totally stopped looking at it because of all this House Loan Crash, Insurance Crash, Investment Bank Crash, Wall Street Crash, etc., and I figure anybody who's got a 401(k) attached to their paycheck is basically at the Lowest Common Denominator of investing right now, so why fucking bother, right? If you don't work in this Money Business, you are a fucking mark, a sucker, a "customer," if you will, as in: You Will Pay.

Sure, they give you this list of "Investment Funds" to pick from, but who's picking the picks inside of my picks? Right? I can pick my ass to my heart's content and it's still at the mercy of some Financial Genius, one of those guys who always get quoted when something Bad happens, going like, "Well, there's no need to panic, you must stay in, because, blah-blah, in the long term, blah-blah-blah." OK, genius, maybe me, maybe I can continue feeding my money into this reverse fucking ATM/Slot Machine and it might pay off, because I have the Serene Faith of somebody who buys Scratch-Off Lottery Tickets as an ancillary Retirement Plan, but how's that "long term" bull-fucking-shit working for somebody who's like 72 years old and getting ready to cash out, huh? Yeah, right: they are Fucked.

Howcumzit the last time I looked at it (I don't look at it anymore) there were all these goddamn minus-signs where there useta be be plus-signs, eh? Can we just fire everybody who does all this money shit and start over? I mean, I'm gonna be the one of the ones who'll get stuck with all this Bad Paper the Government is buying, and I'm no Macro (or even Micro) Economist, but where the fuck exactly is the money coming from for all this shit that is fixing Our Spiraling Economic Crisis, hah? The fucking stock market went up 400 points five minutes ago, but so what? It went up because The Government is buying more fucking Bad Paper!

Plus, I mean, we got the War on Freedom going full blast, and that shit's not going away until it's Mission Accomplished, right? And that kinda shit costs Real money! Goddamn it, show me one fucking Mission that is fucking Accomplished right now! It's like, I almost want to give Bush 43 Four More Years of Detention and make him stay at his goddamn desk until he gets this shit straightened out, and not because I think he can do it, just because I think right now I know that motherfucker is counting the minutes until School's Out Forever.

Meanwhile, we gotta go back to the Afghanistan and re-win that shit and get 'em all off the Poppy Economy, and we (as in U.S.) are now going in to the Pakistan with guns and bombs and nunchucks and shit, but when I heard about that, I was like "Wha? I thought that guy Rumsfeld said (a long time ago, when we—as in US—were just getting in to the whole War on Freedom) we (as in: US again) were gonna Go Places and Do Things that couldn't be talked about for years, etc., how come alla sudden it's News?"

That was like, the speech or press conference or whatever where I swear, basically nobody (except me) listened to Rumsfeld, because he told errbody shit to the effect of: "We're gonna take prisoners (any way we want) and put 'em anywhere we want, as in; countries where we can do shit to 'em that we couldn't do here (as in ibid, op cit., see previous, etc.: U.S.) and we're gonna have secret helpers and secret gaols, etc." Maybe I just hallucinated the whole fucking thing, where Rumsfeld put it all out there; I dunno, I'm too busy worrying about my fucking 401(k) that I don't look at it anymore.

Even so, I'm not hallucinating my goddamn fucking money-hole! I just know my pie-chart looks like a toilet-bowl swirl right now, but I'm still not gonna look, until I do. Meanwhile, now errbody is all weepy about the teevee news showing all these people walking outta these crashed-out Financial businesses with their stuff in a cardboard box, but alls I'm saying is when you guys are done with your boxes, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna need one of 'em to live in.

  • I don't have sympathy for the fat cats who are packing up boxes, either (although it's a different story for the support staff at places like Lehman), but Joe MacLeod's complaining about his 401k rings a little hollow. He has a job, and apparently a good one, if he has that benefit.

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  • Even with all the hype on the news and on the internet, I'm having a hard time fretting about our economy. Things like this always seem to happen every few years, and then seem to get better almost immediately after. Once January 20th rolls around, I'm sure we'll be in the clear and in the black once again.

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  • Oh yes, Sponge Luke, once Jan. 20 rolls around and Obama's in the White House, the country will "be in the black again." It's clear you don't pay attention to economics or even the current news. Hey, if Obama could take the oath on Jan. 20, snap his fingers, and all of a sudden the housing crisis was over, corruption was non-existent and everyone in the world got along, I'd vote for him too. Probably two or three times.

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  • I don't see any investors jumping out of windows just yet, so I'm not exactly panicked. But then again, you never know what could happen next. There could be a terrorist attack, which would cripple our already on the precipice of disaster status now. We need to speed up the process of healing the economy before something REALLY fucks it up.

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  • This guy is so fucking hilarious. My favorite Splice columnist.

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