atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3599: Comments are enabled again.

Yesterday I eased the commenting restrictions and haven't gotten any Cyrillic spam yet, so let's see how things go. (At the height of the spamming I was getting 3-5 spams an hour.)

Interview at the Michael's DC at 4 PM today. I'm going to hie myself out to Culver's for a power lunch; once it's down the hatch and after about 1:30 PM I'll start getting ready to go. I want to leave the bunker no later than 2:30; it should be less than an hour's drive to New Lenox but if you ain't early, you're late and I want to give myself plenty of time to get there.

Going back to 1990, I see that out of the last ten jobs I've had, five haven't started in October or November...and the ones that didn't ended up being short-term jobs for one reason or another. And of those five, one was the job at R-C as a full-time technical writer, when they hired me out of my contract position, so I'm not sure that one actually counts. That one lasted three more years before I got laid off in the wake of 9-11.

I'm not saying that means anything here, but I do detect a pattern.

* * *

Maybe I don't do as well in interviews as I thought department: I just now remembered that--in November of 2001--I interviewed for a technical writer postion and failed to get that job. I figure I must've said something to offend the interviewer, but to this very day I can't imagine what it was, unless he got insulted when I referred to his company as "small"--which it was, compared to Rockwell, which has locations all over the world and a plant covering about half a square mile in Cedar Rapids alone.

The interview was going famously until I said, "It would be nice to work for a smaller company." And suddenly the interview was over, so it must've been that.

Oh well. If they're that freakin' uptight I don't want to work for them anyway. You don't want to work for someone who's got an inferiority complex.

* * *

So how about that thar economy?

European unemployment is stratospheric. The economy in Europe is very, very bad; while Germany's sitting pretty at 5.5%, Spain's rate is 25%.

One quarter of the Spanish working population is unemployed. Holy shit. It'd be interesting to know what Greece's is like.

And don't look to China to save us: "China’s economic data showed 7 consecutive quarters of contraction on Monday." In other words, China's been in recession for almost two years already.

Karl Denninger comments on this story. "...[T]he economy was in fact contracting at a rate of approximately 6% (annualized) in 2007, and had been declining at over a 5% rate from the end of 2006 forward!"

I know that I've been an economic doomsayer for the past 18 months, but like a lot of my sources I am flat-out amazed that things have held on for as long as they have. If everyone were following the rules, the DOOM would have happened by now. What I forgot to take into consideration was that the people running things know what will happen if the rules are followed: they lose their fancy offices and plush townhomes and cozy perks.

And they've realized that there are absolutely no consequences of ignoring the rules. Wall Street owns D.C. and the folks in D.C. have all their money invested in Wall Street, so one hand washes the other. D.C. doesn't take the guys on Wall Street to task for breaking the law, and Wall Street protects the investments held by the guys in D.C. Money and favors flow back and forth between the two power centers without let or hindrance, and everyone votes the same way and everyone's ass is covered.

Meanwhile, you and me get to freeze and starve in the dark, because we're unimportant hicks in flyover country.

But it's a game of musical chairs. Everyone is circling the chairs and eyeing everyone else, and some of the players are paying off the guy at the record player to keep the music playing for a little while longer, hoping he'll be decent enough to stop the music when they're right in front of a chair in the middle of the row rather than on the end. But there are many more players than there are chairs, and as time passes more chairs are simply disappearing. When the music stops, there will be a lot of people who are "out", and the fight over the remaining chairs will be bloody.

It would have been better for the big hit to have happened in 2008. "Extend and pretend" has kept us out of the economic shitter for four years--which is far longer than any of us doomsayers expected--but it can't work forever.

* * *

Poor Jon is just losing his mind:

Incidentally, this is the sixtieth home-brewed Garfield Without Garfield strip that I've done. I'd better watch it; the guy who orignially started doing that will get mad at me if I keep taking all his material.

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