What, Me Worry?
OCTOBER 1, 2008.
In 2008 the U.S. led a worldwide recession via what has come to be known by many as the sub-prime meltdown--the economic effects of loose practices in granting mortgages. This piece was originally published early fall, 2008.
I’m somewhat enjoying the nescient narcissism on technicolor display by our formally fatuous public servants, pretending to know what in Keynes’ name they are doing relative to the alleged meltdown of our economy–the end of the world as we know it.
I personally have no idea what will happen if we don’t rush to commit seven hundred billion American Pesos to preserve the champagne lifestyles of Wall Street’s moneyed mountebanks, but I secretly wish we could find out. Sales of fully-loaded Bentleys might take a temporary hit as the boiler room burglars regroup, perhaps reinventing themselves as aluminum siding salesmen or TV evangelists.
I remember flying on a plane with one of the financial sector’s finest, who brashly admitted that he never sold anyone less than a thousand miles away. He went on to explain the wisdom of his strategy–the fact that you can’t take a gun on a plane and no one would drive a thousand miles to shoot you.
Sounded logical to me.
But the fact of the matter is I am unmoved by any of this. Trust when I say I worry about a lot of things that are totally out of my control, but the actions of a bunch of useless, self-serving politicians don’t represent one of them. Face it, if any of us really cared we’d go through the ignominy of a public election, take the reins, and do something about all this falderal. But instead we leave it to the pernicious vermin who have no marketable skills and therefore no means of making an honest living.
Meanwhile, the rest of us go about our quiet lives shuffling papers by day and driving the next generation of victims to soccer practice by night. And if any of us shufflers gets our knickers in a knot over the acts of our lunatic lawmakers, we should take solace in the fact that if we can avoid worrying our little heads over such nonsense we can go about our lives in quite a fulfilling manner.
The reality is, as Harry Browne opined, you can indeed live free in an unfree world.
So what if the Dow sinks into oblivion. My IRA is in all cash. So what if the world is on the brink of financial collapse. I’ve got a comfortable Lazy Boy and a forty-six inch 1080P LCD TV. So what if the neighborhood bank is converted to a Starbucks. I’m fully stocked with Tombstone Pizzas along with an ample supply of Red Bull, Skol, and Slim Jims. What difference does it make if Freddy and Fanny are going to cost the American Public one point five trillion United States Lira. All I’m interested in knowing is how old the fat kid is on Two and a Half Men.
So, as I’ve asked before, what does this all have to do with the game of golf?
Here’s the point:
Golf exists on two independent planes. The most noteworthy plane, the “business” of golf, is controlled by well-meaning purveyors who want to increase rounds on courses that make the manliest men assume the fetal position–and not because of the 600 yard par fives with seventeen yard wide fairways and twenty foot deep pot bunkers, but because of the four hundred dollar greens fees; and by well-meaning purveyors who want to sell you two thousand dollar sets of clubs with uber-MOI-trapezoidal-high-modulus-tungsten-alloy heads.
But, thanks to Old Tom, C.B. and the cunning craftsmen who figured out how to get a top-hat full of feathers into a 1.62″ diameter goat skin sphere the other plane, the “game” of golf, consists of those of us who remember what it was like to play a competitive round in under three hours; who used to play stymie with our buddies; who died a thousand deaths that fateful afternoon at Olympic in ‘66; who know what a Sunday stick was and wished we had one; who believe that Hogan was the best but Hagen was the coolest; and who covet this amazing game with the passion of Picasso and the unqualified familial love only a mother has for her first-born.
Notwithstanding my bitterness over Washington’s recent staggering display of ignorance I’ll admit that, like the business of golf, they are generally a well-meaning lot.
But I choose freedom.