EB: Giving ’em the business!

Brain dumps from the original Bonehead.

I am not a journalist.

And I doubt anyone who’s been around here for any length of time would mistake me for one.  Because I’m not a journalist and I’m not really held to any standards… well, I can pretty much say what I want to.

Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits!!   (R.I.P.)

Uhm… yeah… like that.  So anyway – while reading through a recent article on MSNBC I heard that old, familiar buzzing of my world-famous Bullshit Sensor.  The article read as follows:

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama announced Thursday that he will help pay off Hillary Rodham Clinton’s more than $20 million debt, personally writing a check in a gesture meant to win over her top financial backers.  
(http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25387235/)

I underlined the part that set off the B.S.S.  Like I said, I’m no journalist and there’s alot that I don’t know about the field, but I thought there was this ‘journalistic integrity’ thing that was supposed to prevent this kind of crap?  Right?

If I’m not reading an editorial, or a blog (HA!), then my news report should be an objective relay of facts and nothing more.  And if the Obamas didn’t announce that the check was being written in an attempt to win over Clinton’s financial backers, then the “journalist” is either guessing at motivation, or they’re subjecting me to their opinion. 

Hey Associated Press, here’s a thought: when the facts of the story are help was needed and help was given, hows about you don’t set the tone in the first paragraph by pawning the gesture off as a measured publicity stunt?!  But don’t worry, Journalist Person – I’m sure there will come a day when we all want to know what you think… and when we do we’ll come read YOUR blog! 

 

-E

June 30, 2008 Posted by | Observations | 3 Comments

Overinflated.

I’ve been pretty lucky for the past few years – my rent increased at all… but that wasn’t always the case!  A few years ago while living down in Florida I had the misfortune of watching my monthly payment increase anywhere from 60-95 dollars with each annual renewal.  Also, during that time, the price of gasoline increased roughly a dollar per gallon… and at 12 miles-per-gallon, and if you want to know what THAT feels like just grab a handful of Short Curlys in a nice firm grasp and just yank as hard as you can.

Unnecessary and definitely uncool.

You’re right – my bad.  I think being away for so long has made me a bit overeager?  Sell the truck would be the conventional solution but maybe not when I already own it.  Book value is maybe four grand and buying a new vehicle is going to mean taking on a new note.  Even with the savings in gas expenses it would take years to begin to recoup any of it.

Anyways, all of this got me to thinking about the conceptual nature of how this financial stuff is supposed to work; and wondering if it’s really “supposed to work” at all?   Let’s go back to the rent thing for a second.  During those three years where my rent kept going up, let’s say I held down a job and maintained status quo… nothing special but not below average either.  I could then reasonably look forward to the average run-of-the-mill, 3% annual increase right?  That’s, of course, taking alot of ‘givens’ into account – such as the company I work for being in good enough financial standing that they’re actually giving out annual increases, but what the hell… let’s go wild. 

So to fully flesh out this scenario, let’s say I’m earning an above average salary, ok?  We’ll call it 50k per year just to simplify the math.  At the end of one year that’s an additional $1,500 to my yearly base and then at the end of year two that’s an additional $1,545 – that’s a gain of $3,045 from year one to year three by having some good days and some bad days, not getting promoted and not getting canned.  Now, before we get into some full-contact Buzzkill, I should mention that all of these are pre-tax numbers.  Once you reduce that by the national average of 30.8% to pay taxes that leaves an average of about $1,050 per year, or $87.50 in take-home income each month.   

And now to bring it full circle: back to the 12 mpg gas guzzler and the annual rent spikes.  Eighty-seven dollars a month would set me just about even on that annual rent increase if the price of gas wasn’t continually on the rise… but it is.  Or maybe I’d break even if I’d been good enough to warrant a four or five percent raise in that hypothetical scenario. 

Whatever.  Enough with the IF’s.  You remember Ed?  Remember that line he used to say?  If my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle!  Enough with the damn IFs.

Right.  So, again, how is all of this supposed to work?  When you think if pulling even, financially or otherwise, you’re thinking of average, right?  But even starting with an above-average salary the only way to break even is to be exceptional.  I’m no numbers wizard and it’s quite possible that I’m missing something here but it seems to me that something in this system is broken. 

Just to be clear – I’m not suggesting that our taxes should lowered because cutting into the profit margins just isn’t allowed… lower taxes would only mean that less gets done.  Besides, many “civilized” nations actually charge a higher percentage than the U.S. does.  What I want to understand is how does the average American citizen financially survive in our present conditions?

 

-E

June 21, 2008 Posted by | Observations, Work | 4 Comments

So, why did you stop writing?

If I had a nickel for everytime someone asked me that question… well… I’d still be broke – but that’s not the point.

The point is I don’t really have a good answer for it.  I thought I did.  I stuck by it for months or years or whatever it’s been but the fact of the matter is that a friend asked me today and as I began reciting entry #28 in my handy Excuse Manual, my trusty Bullshit Sensor suddenly jumped clear off the charts!

Did you just call bullshit on yourself?  Dude, you need help.

Yup… he’s back too. 

So anyway – I don’t have a good answer for that and, my apologies to the local Fire Department, but I don’t have my Excuse Manual anymore either.  It’s amazing how naked I feel without that thing. 

Welcome back, everybody.  See you soon!

 

-E

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Observations | 4 Comments