Y’know, sometimes life is all about putting things into perspective. I’m reminded of a scene in one of my favorite books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. In this book, Arthur Dent has been rescued from Earth, by his friend who turns out to be an alien, just before the planet is destroyed.
There’s one point early on where Arthur is trying to come to terms with the fact that Earth is gone. He can’t quite grasp it when he thinks of the whole planet. So he tries to think of England (where he’s from). Doesn’t work. Then I think he thinks America, or New York. Doesn’t work. So finally he thinks of something small, I forget exactly, but I think it’s a local park, or a pub. And when he realizes THAT is gone, now it hits him, and he feels sad. He can finally comprehend the magnitude of the situation when he puts it into personal terms.
Well, that’s what’s just hit me with the U.S. economy. Yeah, I knew things were bad. There’s all of this talk of the Stimulus plan, but I just avoid it, because I don’t understand how this stuff works. I’ve got some friends who’ve blogged about it, and seen it discussed on some message boards, but it breaks down into partisan lines. All the liberals think it’s necessary and will make things better, while all the conservatives think it’s horrible and will make things worse. I can’t trust anyone to be Fair and Balanced in their opinion, and I’m no economic expert, so all I can do is sit back & wait & see what happens.
But I read the news, and I’ve been seeing all the reports of massive layoffs, companies going out of business, home forclosures, industry bailouts, stock market dropping, etc. But I’ve been lucky, so far. Had a few hits. For the first time in 8 years my company couldn’t give out X-Mas bonuses. That sucked, because it really would have come in handy. But I’ve still got a steady job, so it didn’t put me in the poorhouse.
Did my taxes last month, got my Federal refund, but my State refund has been delayed, supposedly until sometime next month, because of the California budget crisis. It’s only $243, but it sucks because that’s MY money. But it’s not like I’m starving, in the meantime. So I’m better off than a lot of folks.
But now something much worse as happened. My favorite radio station was a local station, 97.1 fm, which was a talk radio station. It was literally the only radio station I listened to, and had it always tuned to that in my caer. I’d listen to Adam Carolla (who replaced Howard Stern 3 years ago) in the morning on my way to work, and Tom Leykis in the evening on the way home. And if I went out during my first break, or lunch, I’d listen to Frosty, Heidi, & Frank.
But Thursday morning I tuned in and Adam revealed that all of the shows were cancelled, because the station was switching to Top 40 music. Apparently, even though the ratings were good overall, the station needed to save money, and it’s cheaper to play music than pay for talk shows. Just like that. That’s it. They all did their last shows and the station switched Friday at 5pm.
This sucks! I have nothing to listen to in my car anymore! My drives to work & back Mon-Fri will be silent. I don’t like listening to music on the radio, I don’t need to hear the same songs twice an hour, & all of the other talk stations are political and, Left or Right, they all bore me.
I can’t believe this. I mean, just Wednesday night, Tom Leykis was bragging about how good his rating were, then the next day they’re shutting down. And the other hosts all said the same thing. Ratings were good and, in fact, they’re all still going to be getting paid for the remainder of their contracts but, apparently, it still works out to being cheaper for the station for them to play music instead. The economy must be really bad for CBS to take such a drastic step.
So now that my daily routine has been adversely affected, & I can personalize the situation, it’s really sunk in for me. WE’RE IN TROUBLE!