February 11, 2002
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- Hey Joe, still asking about 9-11?
- Not really. It's a rather clean-cut proposition. There are evildoers out there that are up to no good, up to getting us, getting at our freedoms and our prosperity. We can't let it happen. It's that simple. The President's doing a fine job and now, if you don't mind, I've just finished watching the Super Bowl and the Olympics are starting... Life's good!
- By the way, how's your 401k doing lately? Any pension plan worth mentioning? Still depending on Social Security for your retirement?
- Look fella', don't you get started. I don't need no spoiler. I'm in Mormon heaven, the Olympics are here. Everything else is about our safety and our security. Anyway, they say the recession is over. No need to worry. Everything's going to be fine, just fine. So, bug off if you see what I mean.
- Heard of Argentina lately?
- Argent....what? What's that?
- A country in South America, utterly bankrupt...
- So what? Has no effect on me, no incidence on my pension plan or my job; can't be responsible for their screw-up; let 'em work it out. Next time they'll listen to us. We don't mess around like these assholes. Won't happen to us. The Prez's doing a fine job. So, now...
- What about Enron?
- Look man, I already told you to bug off, right? The recession's over, right? As the other fella said, ya' know, the big shot... can't remember his name... anyway, he said, "companies come and go. It's part of the genius of capitalism." Right on, I'd say; right on. Who cares about one company, anyway?
- Uh, that would be Paul O'Neil, the Treasury Secretary. Who cares? Well, say, for instance, the thousands of employees who have lost all their retirement savings and whose job is either gone or on the brink of being gone; and the investors who lost 90 billion... The biggest bankruptcy in US history... The bankruptcy of the 7th largest company in the country...
- O'Neil, you said? Good man, I'd say; doing a good job. As the Prez said...
- Yes, yes, the President said it. But what about Global Crossing and K-Mart? What about all the dot.coms, what about the airline industry and the car manufacturers? What about the 2 million people who've been losing their health plan since January 1 and the millions who've lost their jobs?
- Come on, man; come on! What do you want me to say? Tough luck. I'm sorry for those fellas but there ain't nothing I can do for 'em. Things will get better and I'm fine. My job at the mill is there for me. I just won't get a raise this year. It's okay, we all have to pitch in for the defense of our freedoms, right? The Prez, he said...
- Sure. hey, look who's here, the mail man, with a certified letter. What is it?
- Shit man, look at this; can't believe it. Shit man... Oh f***! Oh man, I need a beer; gimme a Bud; oh f***...
- What is it?
- My pink slip.
Move right along to Scene II - The Lament
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