Of Spilled Milk, Water over the Dam and Reality Intrusions

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Of Spilled Milk, Water over the Dam and Reality Intrusions


Cognitive Dissonance



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When I am in the middle of a righteously indignant “I’ve been wronged” temper tantrum the last thing I want to hear is the phrase “There’s no sense crying over spilled milk”. Or that other classic, “It’s just water over the dam/under the bridge.” Hearing those while stamping my feet and blowing my top sure does ruin a good self indulgent rant.

Whilst in the midst of a particularly satisfying emotional rant the other day a twenty year old memory flashed in my mind that immediately took all the fun out of my naval gazing and promptly brought me back to Earth. The only thing worse than having a fresh dose of humility stuffed in your face is when you are doing your own stuffing. It really is a shame we cannot un-remember select items and must resort to denial to purge the mind of uncomfortable truths and other disturbing miscellanea.

I was four years into my new career as a ‘financial adviser’, more accurately described as a financial ‘products’ salesman. One of my clients, a husband and wife hovering around retirement age, had been with me from nearly the beginning and I knew them well. He had just recently retired since his company pension could not be increased by working additional years, and she was two years removed from her own work retirement. All she wanted to do was reach the ‘official’ company retirement age so she could take her full pension. While waiting out the clock she was putting nearly everything she earned into her company 401(k) as well as her own personal retirement investments.

The wife, let’s call her Anne, called me a few minutes after I walked into the office. She was extremely excited and agitated, and for the first minute or so I could not understand her at all. Once I was able to get her to slow down and fill in some background her excitement became quite understandable. It seemed she had won the lottery and wanted my advice before heading down to the headquarters to claim her one million dollar plus prize. 

Once I could get a word in edge wise I suggested she immediately come down to my office so we could talk about her options. I also suggested she engage a lawyer before claiming the prize because I was certain I was not the expert here in some of the legal matters she would eventually wish she had considered. Unfortunately she would have none of that and informed me that as soon as she hung up the phone she was headed to the lottery office with her husband Harold. All she wanted to know was if she should take the ‘lifetime’ twenty annual payments or the lump sum after taxes. I suggested the lump sum, knowing full well that the twenty ‘annuity’ payments were based upon a below market interest rate.

Just after lunch Anne (with Harold in tow) showed up at my office looking like she had been run over by a Mack truck. Distraught and anguished were not sufficient enough terms to describe her state of mind or physical demeanor. Within a minute of sitting at my desk she was in tears and sobbing, with poor Harold completely lost and unable to console his wife. I rushed to close my office door as her explanation spilled out.


Spilled Milk


In a nut shell she had not won a million dollars. There had been a mistake last night when the local TV outlet had broadcast the winning lottery numbers, the norm along with newspapers for dispersing lottery announcements before the Internet age had bloomed. One of the numbers displayed had been incorrect (though interestingly I found out later the voice over had given the correct number) which meant one of the numbers on her ticket was not a winning number. That was the ‘bad’ news. The ‘good’ news was that she had been the sole second place winner, the prize of which was a not so paltry one hundred thousand dollars after taxes in one lump sum.

However for Anne this was not good news at all. For sixteen short hours she had been a millionaire and had mentally spent all that money on retirement vacations, new automobiles, gifts for the children etc. As she handed over a check for a little more than one hundred thousand, to be deposited into her investment account, if you were watching her body language you would have thought she was handing Satan her engraved one way ticket to hell.

Long story short it was all downhill from there. While the lottery winnings enabled Anne to retire early rather than wait for her full pension payment (it was only a matter of 4% and she still received full health benefits) and as a bonus pay off the remaining balance on her mortgage, she rapidly slipped into despondency and despair. A few years later she and Harold divorced and she became somewhat of a recluse, drinking heavily and running through what remained of the divorce proceeds in a few short years. I lost touch with her shortly thereafter until I read her obit a few years further down the road. It was sad, so very sad indeed.

This was the memory that flashed across my mind while in the middle of my delicious rant. Talk about rant interruptus. The impression the memory cemented in my mind, both back then in real time and now upon reflection, was to always examine what is ‘real’ and what is not. While my anger or upset was most certainly ‘real’ it was not actually based upon anything real, but rather a sense of outrage that I had been harmed, either directly or indirectly just like Anne.

For those keeping score at home let us revisit what was ‘real’ with the situation Anne found herself in and how she reacted to her windfall. Anne never actually won the million dollars; it was never hers to begin with. It was her perception of a fictitious ‘reality’ that had defined her ‘belief’ that she had won. She never ‘realized’ the winning ticket, but she did possess the winning second place ticket.

What would have been her reaction if, instead of thinking she had won a million, she correctly understood she had ‘only’ won one hundred thousand? I suspect she would most likely have been ecstatic; possibly as excited as she was when she called me with the ‘news’ of winning one million.

In other words in her mind, and to a lesser extent in her husband’s, she made ‘real’ something that was not actually a fact or truth mostly because she ‘believed’ it to be real. And her belief was formed primarily because the information came from an authority….in this case the local television station. If her neighbor had told her she had won a million bucks I suspect she would have treated the news with a great deal more skepticism. Let the buyer of the belief beware.


Let the Belief Buyer Beware


Worse, because she had been emotionally and psychically imprinted in a significant manner with the false ‘news’ that she had won a million dollars, when her belief was proven wrong even the truth that she was in fact one hundred thousand dollars richer, was of little to no consolation. It cannot be overstated how deeply and completely Anne believed she was a millionaire and the degree of emotional trauma that was self inflicted when she discovered she was not.

I must warn the reader not to dismiss this story as immaterial to you or your loved ones because what happened to Anne happens to you and me on a daily basis, only for us the discovery and assimilation time frame is greatly stretched out compared to Anne’s sixteen hour trip from normalcy to millionaire to Satan’s hell. On a daily basis we emotionally deal with truths that are no longer true….or more accurately in many cases were never true to begin with. Slowly but surely ‘reality’ intrudes into our mind numbing denial, and soon enough another castle rampart falls to the inevitable decay of the truth invasion.

While Anne may be perceived as emotionally unstable and even intellectually dishonest, and there is no doubt that her inability to cope with the emotional letdown of reality intruding upon her believed fantasy certainly suggests deeper emotional issues, are we not all to some degree or another clinging to past ‘truths’ that never were and might never be?

Because I most certainly was clinging to mine when I exercised my freedom to act emotionally childish and wallow in my own self-indulgent rant. Just like Anne I believed something that was not actually true, though in my case it was more a conglomerate of conditioned concepts rather than just one simple belief. I was done wrong by a ‘system’ that promised truth and justice for all. Yet when the Cavalry was supposed to gallop in and save the day none appeared, and I was indignant. How dare they forget about poor little me?

I suspect “We the People” will be suffering endless disappointment and emotional trauma as we descend the social and financial ladder to Satan’s place. And while this fall from grace might be stretched out over a period of ten, twenty, even thirty years, similar to the fall of the Soviet Union both before and after the actual dissolution of the Communist bloc, a decline they are only now beginning to recover from, a fall it most definitely will be.

The key here is not what you and I can do to stop the inevitable. The key is what are you and I doing to prepare emotionally, then physically and financially, to weather the storm already on the horizon. For me the self indulgent rants must stop as I turn my face towards reality and the gathering storm clouds.



Cognitive Dissonance

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Water Over the Dam

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blindman's picture

just me or is this the one?
Tom Waits - Big Joe and Phantom 309 (Live)
Big Joe And Phantom 309

See, I just happened to be back on the East coast a few years back
I was tryin' to make me a buck like everybody else
I'll be damned if times didn't get hard, and Christ I got down on my luck
And I got tired of just roamin' and bummin'(2) around
So I started thumbin' (3)my way back to my old hometown

And you know, I made quite a few miles in the first couple of days
You know, I figured I'd be home in a week if my luck held out this way
You know, it was the third night, oh and I got stranded
And it was out at a cold lonely crossroads(4)
And as the rain came pouring down, man I was hungry
Yeah, I was hungry, tired and freezin', caught myself a chill

But it was just about that time
Yeah, it was just about that time that the lights of an ol' semi topped the hill
You should've seen me smile when I heard them air brakes come on
Yeah, and I climbed up into that cab where I knew it'd be warm
At the wheel... well, at the wheel sat a big man
And I'd have to say he must've weighed two ten
As he stuck out a big hand and he said with a grin
'Big Joe's the name, and this here rig's called Phantom 309'

Well, I asked him why he called his rig such a name
And you know, he turned to me and said '
Why son, don't you know this here rig'll be puttin' 'em all to shame
Nah, there ain't a driver
No, there ain't a driver on this or any other line for that matter that...
That's seen nothin' but the taillights of Big Joe and Phantom 309'
So we rode and we talked the better part of the night
And I told my stories and Joe told his
And I smoked up all his Viceroys as we rolled along
Pushed her ahead with 10 forward gears
Man, that dashboard was lit like the old Madam La Rue pinball
Serious semi truck

Till almost mysteriously...
Well, it was the lights of a truck stop that rolled into sight
Joe turned to me, said 'I'm sorry son, but I'm afraid this is just as far as you go, you see...
You see, I kinda gotta be makin' a turn just up the road a piece'
I'll be damned if he didn't toss me a dime as he threw her in low and said
'Go on in there son, and get yourself a hot cup of coffee on Big Joe'
I mean to tell you, when Joe and his rig pulled off into the night
Man, in nothing flat they was clean outta sight

So I walked into this stop, well I ordered me up a cup of mud(5),
sayin' 'Big Joe's settin' this dude up',
but it got so deadly quiet in that place
Yeah, it got so deadly quiet in that place, you could've heard a pin drop
And as the waiter's face turned kinda pale I said,
'What's the matter, did I say somethin' wrong?'
I kinda said with a half way grin
He said, 'No son, you see it'll kinda happen every now and then
Cause every driver in here knows Big Joe, son, but...

But let me tell you what happened just 10 years ago out there
Yeah, it was 10 years ago, out there at that cold lonely crossroads(4)
And there was a whole bus load of kids
And then they were just comin' from school
And they were right in the middle when Joe topped the hill and...
They could've been slaughtered except Joe turned his wheels
And he jacknifed, yeah he jacknifed, and he went into a skid
And you know, folks around here, well...
They say he gave his life to save that bunch of kids
And out there at that cold lonely crossroads
Well, they're saying it was the end of the line for Big Joe and Phantom 309

'But it's funny you know, cause... cause every now and then
Yeah, every now and then when the moon's holdin' the water
Well, they say that old Joe'll stop and give you a ride
It seems, just like you, some hitchhiker'll be comin' by'
'So here, son,' he said to me, 'you get yourself another cup of coffee
It's on the house, I kind of want you to hang on to that dime
Yeah, I kind of want you to hang on to that dime as a souvenir
I want you to keep that dime as a souvenir of Big Joe
Of Big Joe and Phantom
Big Joe and Phantom 309'

Written by: Tommy Faile(1)
Published by: Fort Knox Music (BMI), © 1967
Official release: "Nighthawks At The Diner", Elektra/ Asylum Records, 1975

blindman's picture

but, but,but ...here is
my favorite.
Tom waits - Big joe and phantom 309
"...this here rig be puttin' em all
to shame. ..." t.w.

blindman's picture

Tom Waits - Big Joe and Phantom 309
"caught myself a chill." t.w.

blindman's picture

let those with eyes to see, see; there it is,
good night and good being.

blindman's picture

late again, see how "time" is such
a or an < i have no word >.
(powerful illusion become a controlling
"concept") magical power,
in question and wonder.
the seed of revolution within the
prescribed "structure", time.
April Fools' Day: Origin and History
The uncertain origins of a foolish day
by David Johnson and Shmuel Ross
Read more: April Fools' Day: Origin and History | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/spot/aprilfools1.html#ixzz30Qlk8zRn
fur the record.

blindman's picture

this is the description of the times.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Derivatives A House Of Cards
..."The point of this article is to call attention to the insanity of.."
The FOUR HORSEMEN Herald the Death Knell of Predatory Capitalism
Posted on July 7, 2012 by cosmicconvergence2012
There will undoubtedly be some feedback/discussion about whether this portrayal has a tinge of doom and gloom. By no means is this the author’s intention. But, let’s face it, sometimes a reality show can be quite difficult to watch, except that this is not a reality show, it’s a very serious reality check. Therefore, we would like to pose the following question, especially to the fainthearted, for serious consideration:

When you’re watching an 18 wheeler, with a supposed full payload of newly minted gold that was switched in a double cross with a cargo of gold painted lead bars, barreling down a very steep and winding mountainside road, and the steering wheel is broken, the brake lines have been cut, the windshield’s been shattered, 16 of 18 wheels have come off, the driver has just suffered massive cardiac arrest and the guy riding shotgun has just finished his 4th six pack … … … and now it’s careening toward a cliff side overlooking a deep, dark chasm. We all get the picture, don’t we?

© 2012 Cosmic Convergence 2012"

blindman's picture

Friday & Saturday @ 10:30pm
Get Your Tickets Here

blindman's picture

Kim Richey - Those Words We Said
Kim Richey and The Long Players cover Neil Young's "Helpless" on YouTube
culture, through language and associated
stimulation, is a lock on the mind.
they say you must travel to experience...
other culture. another lock on the mind.
then the mind gets the idea, there are
similarities and differences through comparisons
and contrasts.
once the mind is cracked like this there is no
going back, there i only one way and it is forward.
so, there is this idea that beyond a certain point
of development it is useless and or destructive to
crack a set mind, could be?
maybe this is what happened to anne? she had her
mind cracked too late? could be what happened to
michael ruppert too.
the abyss is just an abyss, we are born with it and
it is the foundation of psychological freedom. imho.
there is nothing to kill and no one to experience
the act of suicide so just forget about that. life
is waiting for every sentient being. "be here-(there) now".
Ram Dass ~ Be Here Now
.(this happens every day and second, relax and breath,
don't lose it on the "idea")
Alan Watts - Being Completely Here And Now
" it has nothing to do with anything that is good for you."
it is you, it is not "good for you".
and forget that too ....
thank you c.d. and commenters.

phaedrus1952's picture

Great post, as always, Cog.   Thanks for contributing.

xcehn's picture

You can see and practically feel the cognitive dissonance in Bill Murray's face in the 'Lost in Translation' clip. Always cracks me up.



Grouchy Marx's picture

Great story. The new reality that the West is going to painfully learn is that there will be no retirement, ever, and that standards of living will sharply decline. Your best year financially? That's history, for the overwhelming majority. It will be very tough for the middle class to realize they are actually poor, and getting more so.

Sounds depressing, but it shouldn't be if you enjoy life's challenges, have a plan, and a loving spouse at your side. My wife and I see the future and are preparing aggressively to meet it the best we can. We have our health, each other, and faith in God, and we are finding joy right where we are.

Nadine of Tyrol's picture

Anne's story reminds me of one of my favorite axioms:  "Misery is optional."  Come to think of it, happiness is also optional, as is enlightened thought.

We have been trained to believe that social success and wealth creation are the keys to happiness and enlightenment.  The coming storm will teach us that there are other avenues to enlightenment.  If we don't despair, we may discover a new perspective that we could never have ventured into in the old paradigm.

Your choice of fate is always yours, pick carefully your door.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I like that. "Misery is optional."

Thank you.

Reaper's picture

Great expectations can become greater disappointments. Our schools and media teach the unique greatness of our Country and provide tales of great American heroes saving the day for us. Anne, like so many was waiting for retirement to live, instead of each day grabbing as much as possible. Most of the US population believe some hero or the system itself will never let them down. They trust in their leaders or the system enabling their leaders or a god to always provide. What was is not destined to last or improve. Trust and great expectations are temporary opiates with extended hang-overs following.

wackydog's picture

I was Anne, only it was more and it was real. Took me a year to really understand the numbers. Took me 2 years to learn enough to make decisions. Then, I started learning more and trusting a LOT LESS, relying on the maxim: Trust in God, but tie your camel.

To this day, my $$ gurus gently laugh at me, because I know that as quickly as all this flowed to me -- it could all flow away again, and I live accordingly. In fact, neurotically, I still find it hard to spend money on myself.

Go figure.

As for the parallel in being "completely on my own" with no help expected from TPTB -- well, being dirt poor you learn that lesson early and money doesn't change it.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Either money changes you or you change the money.

That may sound silly, but money is a mental meme, a brain virus, a brainware hacking hijacker........if we allow it to be. If not, particularly in the face of wealth such as yours, we actually change the money meme into just another tool we can use to benefit us rather than 'them'.

Essentially we disarm it while empowering our self. Sometimes I try to think of money as a powerful chainsaw, a wonderful and efficient tool that if ignored for just a second can turn around and bite you big time.

It sounds like you are using your tool exactly as you should. Congratulations.

goneYonder's picture

Be careful what you wish for...

El Vaquero's picture

I think most people, myself included, would feel disappointment at finding out that we had "only" won $100k, but I'm pretty sure that when cashing that check, most people, including myself, would feel a bit more chipper.  And it would get even better, in my case, when adding an AR-10 to the collection.  Sounds like you're right, and Anne may have had some serious underlying issues that the experience brought out. 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The advantage of using an extreme case such as Anne is that all the warts are clearly visible. The problem with using an extreme case such as Anne is very few will see their warts as similar to Anne's.....if they can see their warts at all.

Nobody's picture

It is accepted knowledge that a high tunnel greenhouse can stretch your growing season to almost year round production. As an added incentive, the NRCS has a subsidized purchasing program for greenhouses. (Kinda like hoisting them on their own petard). Your production will make you a critical component of your area and a friend to all, including law enforcement.
Otherwise the hunting and fishing will get scarce, and tree bark gives little sustenance.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Thank you.

I've told it before, but then only briefly and as part of a much bigger piece. I felt it deserved singular attention and decided to create its own space in my contributor's portfolio.

besnook's picture

the truth may set you free but is can also enslave you. beware of the delusions you create for yourself.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

And beware the delusions we still suffer from and either are blissfully unaware of, or convinced we are aware of...but are not.

hidingfromhelis's picture

No siree, not me!  I know all of my unknowns.  /s

Glad you stick around for the comments section, as the concept of "...convinced we are aware of...but are not." is a gem and more common than we would like to think.  Of course, we can see it in others, but ourselves?  Not so much.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Of course, we can see it in others, but ourselves?  Not so much."

Let me tell you about blind spots, in particular my own.

I suspect one of the toughest things Mrs. Cog had to adapt to when we moved in together was the realization that Cognitive Dissonance was just as human as everyone else. In fact, as aware as I may appear to be about myself and others, ultimately it is all just an illusion....albeit a very persistent one.  :-)

<A very blind and fallible human am I. Just ask Mrs. Cog. :-)

cougar_w's picture

"beware of the delusions you create for yourself."

I always listen to the voices in my head. They know me sooo well.

ebear's picture

Had a similar experience, in our case a mining deal gone south.   14 M oz's M&I, but probably more,  given the nature of the deposit (near surface porphyry with satellites).  Would have been a 10X for us, but the govt. interfered and we ended up with 4X instead.  Would have been worse if we hadn't bailed, but your first loss is your best as they say.  Lesson learned?  Don't wait for the payoff - sell the news.

8 years have passed and still not a rock has been turned, so we made the right decision to bail.   Am I bitter?  Not really, although I was extremely pissed off for a while - not nearly enough to cloud my judgement though.  Win some, lose some as they say.

Funny thing - material comfort never meant that much to me.  Sure, I had a nice home in mind, but after that my big idea was to build a school for girls in rural Thailand (family connections). Beyond that, and a new car, I had no idea what to do with the loot.  Wouldn't have blown it on foolish shit though (like lottery tickets...lol!).

Money does change people though.  I've seen a few crash and burn because of it.  Still, life goes on (until it doesn't) or as they say in Siberia:  march or die.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I thought Anne's story interesting on several points.

While you were actively involved in your potential jackpot, meaning you had time, sweat and money invested in an outcome, Anne did not other than the few dollars for the lottery ticket. It was pure luck on her part with no sense of control what-so-ever over the outcome. It wasn't even gambling in the traditional sense, such as standing at the roulette wheel and watching the ball bounce and drop.

In addition she accepted at face value the report from the television station without cross checking or confirming the winning numbers before believing the information to be true. So many people (myself included before I started to question the system many years ago) blindly accept what they are told on the TV as the truth. We are all to some degree or another conditioned humans.

The extremely difficult concept for the vast majority of people who think they are awake is to accept the following. Even though 'we' are now more awake than we were 10 years ago, this doesn't mean we are no longer conditioned humans. So much of what we think, do and react to is conditioned into us and we are often completely unaware of this.

El Vaquero's picture

I was brought up in a family that has a physicist.  Some of the conditioning that I had when growing up had a lot to do with going back to the raw data when in doubt.  Once I really started paying attention to our financial system with this conditioning in mind, it broke some of my other conditionings.  Learning how the financial system works was going down a rabbit hole.  Learning about all of the government corruption that is involved with the financial system got me to questioning other things. I grew up loving the USA.  I grew up believing that bankers kept good records and maybe only a few of them were dirty.  I was taught that cops are there to help, but that was one of the first things that I questioned and discarded, and that was long before delving into the financial world.


So, if you see me putting my hand over my heart for the national anthem, just know that it is merely an act of me keeping my head down, so to speak.  I actually feel kind of dirty doing it, but I don't think it's time to alienate the sheep just yet.  I've since realized what a crooked nest of profiteers our dear leaders really are, and the evidence just keeps on piling up.

Future Jim's picture

Although I wouldn't be bitter about losing what I never had and didn't earn anyway, I suppose I would be bitter about what is being done by the self proclaimed elites and their useful idiots, but writing about it seems to prevent any bitterness or aggitation.

pontificus's picture


Were you and Anne expecting Calvary or cavalry to save you?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Repeat after me. Never trust speelcheck spellcheck.  :)

pontificus's picture

" Neever trust spellchek"

Oh, thanks for the image of spilled milk. I grabbed that.

Crybaby, over and out.

cougar_w's picture

It works both ways. Put your trust in Jay-sus and be saved!

ebworthen's picture

I would bet that Anne became disillusioned with life itself; and that not winning the big lottery jackjpot was just a sign on the road to disenchantment.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

As I said in the piece I suspect Anne was suffering from serious psychological issues hidden just below the surface which exploded into view when prompted in this manner aka severe emotional stress.

Sort of like what I expect from the vast majority of the US population when reality comes home to roost.

notadouche's picture

Too bad she hadn't come to the realization that "chasing happy or winning the 'happy lottery' " is so much more fulfilling and valuable than "chasing dollars and or winning dollar lotteries".    Yeah I know, most people find that bullshit.   Personally I was born into poverty, abuse, abandonment etc... and most of my life I just assumed money was the cure to all that ailes.  

I pursued money through professional choices and got really lucky duing the late 90's dotcom era.  Luckier still I didn't get trapped on the downside.  Moral of the story is that I had made more money in 1 year than in all my years combined.  Felt superior, smarter, and more wise and was treated that way by all those around me.  Problem is that I was suicidal.  More miserable than ever.  Hardest pill to swallow was realizing that my entire life I had assumed the cummulation of wealth was the salve that cured all the ills inside me.  

The discovery that no matter the size of your bank account you are still the same person inside, with the same baggage of your history and the same people/family exist only they want and expect more of what they never deserved to begin with.  Jealousy ensues.  Mindless purchases that don't mean squat.   Money for money sake is just souless and empty.  Having been on both sides of the coin those that have never had money will never understand that notion and probably shouldn't be expected to.   Those with money will, in general always assume they are smarter and better than what they really are or deserve to think because how many kiss their ass because of their assets and perception of wealth.  

Not that anyone asked, just my two cents on this particular story.   To quote or at least paraphrase Redd Foxx "the wealthy still have to wash their ass just like anyone else." 

Additionally I prefer the old saying that "You can't put shit back in the donkey".

ebear's picture

Similarities abound here.  Bailed from school and family at 15.  Spent a year as a street kid, then went to sea to get away from the mess I'd put myseklf into.  Learned some skills, got an education, went into trucking then later investing.  99 was the big year, and like yourself, I took it all off before the crash (wish I could say the same for 2008).

Friends thought I was pretty clever - asking for advice and all.  Made the mistake of giving it to one and he was all up my ass when he lost... wait for it.... $1000.   Really warped sense of value there - he earned more than that in a week.  Beamer boy, but you could have guessed that.  Not a friend anymore, which is a good thing.  Another asked for my advice, didn't follow it, lost big then tried to shift the blame to me.  WTF?

At the time, I contemplated not saying anything, but in the end it's better to let the people around you know - find out who your true friends are, ie. the ones that don't ask favors.

BTW, I think donkeys are really cool.  Right up there with bears and chickadees in my book.


Future Jim's picture

"the wealthy still have to wash their ass just like anyone else." 

Are you sure about that? ;-)

mjcOH1's picture

""the wealthy still have to wash their ass just like anyone else." 

Are you sure about that? ;-)"

You can hire midgets for that.

Future Jim's picture

Anne traded everything she had for the ability to luxuriate in the feeling of bitterness in perpetuity, which was obviously more valuable to her than her marriage or her money. I would have just written an article about it the next day. I might have written a letter to the TV station that made the mistake, and I would have a funny story to tell for the ret of my life. Plus I would have over 100,000 that I did not earn. I would have been happier than before by the end of the next day.

Perhaps part of the problem is that so many people don't distinguish between what they earn, what they are given, and what they stole through fraud. I don't think that was always true. It seems like part of the character devolution of the people.

This is all easy for me to say, so lest one suspect I am a hypocrite, consider that I did not collect unemployment any of the three different times when I could have even though I was three weeks away from having to sell my house one of those times. Nor have a I ever bought a single lottery ticket.

acetinker's picture

Agreed on devolution, especially in character.  I grew up in rural LA (lower alabama).  Most of the characters I encountered were depicted with near perfection by the Coen brothers' O' Brother!  Where Art Thou?  However, there were a handful of really aware older folks I gravitated toward.

They had navigated the Great Depression, and even though they had no clue why it happened -I know cos' I asked- they had developed a steely resolve toward family and community, the government be damned.  Any and all 'gubmint men' were met on the front porch with a twice barrel.  Armed only with a badge, the 'gubmint men' went away, usually.

It ain't like that anymore.  The 'gubmint men' are now armed to the teeth- and even though they still ain't got the balls to come up on the porch- don't need to worry so much about Grandpa's twice barrel.

To sum up, the situation is bad, real bad.  But, if we wind up with a new generation of individuals like my Grandpa, all is not lost.

cougar_w's picture

I don't throw fits anymore. I've evolved beyond that. When I get pissed off at someone I feed them to a tiger.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Red meat for the straw colored tiger.

Future Jim's picture

What is a "safe" forum?

Grouchy Marx's picture

One in which you are the sole participant.

kevinearick's picture

Disassembly & Reassembly