Sweaty, wrestling scholars have yet to establish whether it's a Chinese, Arabian or American curse; nonetheless somebody once said, "May you live in interesting times." Well, we are knee-deep in the middle of one of those "interesting times." Any more interesting and psychiatrists will start franchising electro-shock therapy treatments at shopping mall kiosks.
The good news is Congress rewrote their $700 billion bailout bill and turned it into an $800 billion rescue plan. Totally different. Now it's a rescue plan. Instead of a bailout bill. Sounds much friendlier. Besides, what's $100 billion amongst friends?
What's frustrating for us normal citizens who do not hold a doctorate in weekly misplacing the gross national product of Ecuador, is having absolutely no idea of what's going on. And neither can anyone explain what this monetary CPR will or won't do, or exactly who is going to end up with all that cash, or where they're going to put it, and whether they'll need countersunk hinges for the steel vault doors set over their newly dug underground bunkers to hide it all.
We have many questions. Such as who are we helping out: Wall St. or Main St.? Will I still be able to afford premium cable? Is this a Band-Aid or a full-body containment suit? Can displaced homeowners pack future CEO golden parachutes? And finally, and most importantly, is Nancy Pelosi's face capable of any expression at all?
The $2,500 for every man, woman and child in America to help out broke stockbrokers just seems so, what do you call it, wrong. For all we know, Henry Paulson's big bailout blueprint is to head straight to Vegas: "900 billion on red." And that's another thing. When everybody in America knows the name of the secretary of the treasury, that's not good.
First Paulson called it the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Then it was rejected as the Bailout Bill and embraced as the Rescue Package. Now it's the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Glad they threw that date in on the end so that we'll be able to distinguish it from the Emergency Economic Stabilization Acts of 2009, 2010 and 2010A.
Will Durst is a comedian and writer based in Los Angeles.