Greater Depression

November 24, 2008

My parents and their siblings grew up in a period known as The Great Depression. They were deeply depressed by this experience (as well as by having nutcases for parents). A depression is like drinking Scotch whiskey straight from the bottle. Having nutcase parents is like having Scotch on the rocks.A depression leaves a deep hangover.

Since then, America has vowed to drink nothing stronger than a recession. A recession is like a light beer. Occasionally we have a deep recession. A deep recession is like a “craft beer.” It has a special flavor, as described on a web page about craft beers:

If a beer reminds you of the smell of a skunk that is a result of a photochemical reaction and indicates that the beer has been exposed to light for too long. You may or may not appreciate this character.

If a beer smells or tastes like wine, wet cardboard, or paper (okay I know you don’t usually go around and chew paper, but just imagine) then that’s an indication of old, stale beer. It shouldn’t have been sold to you in the first place. Storing beer at warm temperatures accelerates the staling process.

If you experience a sour, bacterial or moldy flavor in your favorite draught beer at your local bar or tavern – tell the bartender. It means that the beer tap hoses have not been cleaned properly. Draught beer lines need to be properly cleaned every two weeks in order to maintain the delivery of fresh beer to your glass.

For the last few months I have been reading and hearing statements such as:

Are we in a recession?

Are we in a regular recession or a deep recession?

I have been saying, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and do’s like a duck, we are knee deep in duck do. In other words, somebody has been in the liquor cabinet and needs to go to the Depressions Anonymous meeting.

I’ve taken to calling it the Greater Depression.

Yesterday the December 3 issue of The New Republic arrived in my mail box. On a black cover in white letters appeared: “Depression Sets In.”

The old President and the New President and the old Congress and the New Congress are all popping anti-depressants as if they are down in the dumps. They are going to have a bad reaction. I am glad that the rest of the country is catching up with me on this.

10 Responses to “Greater Depression”

  1. I was pretty sure it was Greater Depression when Mr. Obama began outlining his plans and I went, “wait. . . isn’t that the WPA?” We are seeing the maxim about those who don’t learn from history demonstrated.

  2. Spectrum Says:

    I hate thinking about this. As mentioned previously, though, I am a believer, and though you are not, I find comfort in my God when I feel overwhelmed by things like the economic crisis. That’s not to say I stick my head in the ground and do nothing, my God tells me that he helps those who help themselves. So, I have to take action, but I do it with a humble attitude that I don’t know all things. I also try to pray about my actions for guidance from God. Still, the devil squeezes in that bit o’ fear and says things like “you’ll have to eat stale bread and ride a horse,” or some crazy crap like that. I just know if God wants me to go through a trial, like a depression, it may not be fun, but I need to be faithful, intelligent, humble, and willing to learn from the experience. I am not sure if your relatives were believers or not, but I am certain that the depression made them who they are. Humans hate pain and turmoil, but we know it is necessary to life. No one likes to experience it, but from it can come a lesson or sometimes some good. It is what makes us-us. Some people choose to sulk about it, and hide in the dark instead of turning it into good. They say, “I can see no good in this.” And to them I say, “I’m sure you can’t.” That’s it. If you aren’t seeing it, then you aren’t seeing it or aren’t willing to see it. One day you might see it, though, but perhaps never so . . . And sometimes there is no good. Sometimes it is just a stinky lesson saying, “don’t do that again” or “ok, buddy, there you go, you got what you wanted,” or “sometimes there’s a big pile of duck do at the end of the rainbow.” Well, I’ve harangued long enough. Hope this wasn’t dull or worthy of a delete by the administrator.

  3. modestypress Says:


    I always appreciate your thoughts. I didn’t find your comment dull. I certainly didn’t find it worthy of a delete.

    Life is difficult for all of us. Although I make a joke about just beginning to grow up to the maturity age of 14 or so at the chronological age of 64, to a considerable extent it is true.

    Some people are religious believers and some are not. My way of resolving this is to talk about what I call “meta values,”: values that believers and non-believers can find some agreement on.

    Christ spoke of the “Golden Rule.” Secular people speak of the capacity for “empathy” as way we can treat each other with charity, tolerance, and kindness.

    Looking at history, sometimes people follow such guidelines and sometimes they do not. There are clear example of both religious people and secular people acting well and acting badly.

    At least when people who are blogging they usually just flame each other with messages and not with bombs or napalm.

    However, having dropped a compulsively sarcastic remark, I will get all sentimental and squishy and say I am glad you came back to the blog group and I am glad you posted your comment.

  4. truce Says:

    I’d say it would be monstrously unfair to blame any god for our own greed and stupidity in causing this global financial crisis.

  5. modestypress Says:


    I don’t know if this American archetypical joke travels that well. I agree with you. In fact, if anyone wants to believe that a god rather than our own greed and stupidity is at fault, then I have a good deal on a bridge for sale that I will offer that person.

  6. Spectrum Says:

    I can only hope that my comment was not misunderstood. My intention was to show that I seek comfort in God during times of trial. My belief is that man has free will. I also believe that God, however, is the ultimate ruler. What this means is that he can provide comfort and grace when I have screwed up my life, or for example, when I am feling sad or grief, or the like. I never meant to intend that God caused the economic crisis. I mean to say that God will help those who help themselves. However, God tells me NEVER to be ashamed of Him. Never, ever, ever.

  7. Spectrum Says:

    I also mean to say that since I believe God is knows all, and that he is the Alpha and Omega, than praying about my decisions is a way of honoring his knowledge and showing my faith in Him.

  8. I think the economy definitely tastes like a skunk and no, I don’t appreciate its character at the moment.

  9. modestypress Says:

    Spectrum, I understand your comments as well as I can. Any failure in understanding is entirely mine.

  10. modestypress Says:


    As I once related on the old blog, I once spent part of a summer (as a child) living in a ranch house with a wild skunk that also lived in the ranch house. I was very polite to the skunk. The skunk never sprayed me.

    I am being very polite to the economy. Unfortunately, my investment portfolio is down about 30%. I think the skunk caught up with me.

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