Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

State(s) of Decay

Been a lot of buzz this week about something called a 'recovery' regarding the U.S./world economy.  There are apparently fewer jobless claims.  There is supposedly a bump in home prices.  Stocks gained in 6 out of the last 7 trading sessions.

Interestingly, gold and silver are scratching their respective ceilings as we head into the final two weeks of summer.  (In this I was only partially right in my previous post, where I called for the gold bubble to pop... it has not, but silver continues to do very well, as I held.  Honestly, even at $20/oz., it's still a tremendous bargain.)  Crude oil is remaining constant... although prices at the pump went up about 9 cents in my neck of the woods.  Inflation?  Maybe.

Speaking of price increases, bought any groceries lately?  I have.  I actually buy a good chunk of groceries for my family every Friday morning.  I'm lucky to get out of the store for less than $50... and that's without getting any meats, which I leave to the wife to do, as she's better at picking them out than I am.  Inflation?  Probably.


Then there's my job.  I get at least 2-3 inquiries a day about job openings at my store.  (There are none.)  I had a young girl actually break down and start crying one day last week, after I gently told her we were not currently looking to do any hiring.

But hey, the stock market's rallying!  Also, Obama's proposing to spend billions (pulled out of Ben Bernanke's ass) on projects to build miles of new roads and airport runways, in order to provide jobs.  Apparently he's not worried about trivial matters like Peak Oil, which the world apparently (obliviously) passed sometime around aught-five.  That it may be prohibitively expensive to drive anywhere by then is, apparently, a moot point.  What's important is the short term, the Here and Now, and that means Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, plenty and often.

You know, I watch the stock market pretty regulalry, and am regularly pretty incredulous.  No amount of bad news can slow down the apparently boundless optimism of the American Investor for long.  (That, plus there's a sucker born every minute, as the saying goes.)  A little bad news causes a slight flutter, but not for long.  Talk of a Double-Dip Recession (sounds like a dessert at Baskin Robbins) is fading fast... it's been at least a couple of weeks since I heard Maria Bartiromo's (of CNBC) utterance of the D-word (Depression) and the chorus of economists' shrill assurances that we are in No Such Thing, evident in the fresh goat innards laid out on the glass table there in the bureau's Manhattan office.

I, of course, believe that we are all seriously fucked.  Some more than others, of course, but we're all fucked, naetheless.  Luckily, most of the stupefied citizenry are paying rapt attention to matters of mosques and imams, and the dog-and-pony show known as the mid-term elections.  Otherwise, there'd be chaos in the streets, if they all knew how fucked we really are.  Such distractions allow the rest of us more time to prepare -- I for one have a garden to expand over the next few months, among other things.

The leaves on the dogwood and beech trees in my Angle are already turning and falling, possible signs of an especially long, cold Winter.  It is getting late in the season, but there is still opportunity to prepare for the hard times ahead.

Make haste.

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Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"