Thursday, March 26, 2009

So Like the Economy is, um, Bad?

It feels like a long time since I've written anything here, and I have to say I miss it. I miss your feedback, and I miss the stream of conscious writing I could always do for this site. ("First draft, Mark... First draft!") Things have slowed down a bit for my book, but I have an article under consideration at one magazine, just finished an article for a newspaper in Southern Ontario, and am working on my next magazine piece. I'll be getting married in July, and we've started planning for what all needs to be done. I have to say, I can't wait!! There are a few nuggets floating around the news lately, however, that I find frustrating.

Thought I'd rant a bit. Mind?

Okay, we get that the economy is in a recession. Without getting into the who's or what's, can we please stop making every article we read and every commentary we hear as further commentary on the economic 'plight' of our country. Please? Listen, we've known for years that the manufacturing sector was going to eventually get hammered. How can we compete with China or India, when their labour costs are a fraction of ours? I understand that losing our job is a terrible and frightening thing, it's happened to me before. And I am especially empathetic with those trying to support a family.

Here's my problem. The Canadian banks are stable, still raking in billions. I'm still waiting in line at Starbucks. (A five dollar latte, in the greatest recession since the thirties? Anyone else see the hyperbole here?) People are still paying $75 /hour for people to show them how to workout properly, and 100$/hr to have their muscles massaged.

I'm not saying that the economy isn't down, because it is, though it seems like it happens every ten years or so. All I'm saying is that I'd like to open up the newspaper and not read about the "dire" circumstances that proclaim the end of the world. Pretty soon we'll actually believe Chicken Little.

My second point is that maybe this is a good reminder to remember what's really important. I've never made more than thirty two thousand dollars a year. I live in a small room with 8 housemates. I work at a job that offers no sick days and very little security.

I've never been happier.

In Ottawa, I had a secure job with the school board. I spent $120/month on television, which I watched seven hours per day. I loved my kids, but the daily drudgery and job circumstances were killing me. I was miserable. Contrast that to now. The other day I went to do my laundry and noticed I'd put my detergent in front of my television. Except for the occasional movie or game, I don't even turn the TV on any more.

All I'm saying is that sometimes having less, is having more, and that maybe it'd do us all a bit of good to rethink why we're here in the first place.

And if you know any publishers, please tell them to stop with the Apocalypse Now crap. Let's leave that to John Hagee. The rest of should go outside and play, I hear spring is coming...