Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The feeling of Impending Doom

Every standard test for depression, after they ask you if you are going to kill yourself, asks the following question: Do you have a feeling of impending doom ? An affirmative answer to this question and some others (“Do you have trouble pulling the covers from over your head and ever getting out of your bed ?, Have you stopped eating all together ?, are you eating more now than you ever have ?”.) will give a trained therapist a clue as to whether you are suffering from clinical depression.


The real problem is that sometimes the reason that you have a feeling of impending doom is because doom is impending. Several people on the Titanic had it when they were told their ship had struck an iceberg, a good many of the passengers on the Hindenburg had it when they noticed flame on the dirigible and the respective Presidents of Fanny Mae and Ginny Mae must have had a feeling something like that when their receptionists buzzed them the other day to announce that there was a group of people from the Federal Government in the reception area who wanted to have a little chat.


My belief is that anyone in this country who does not have a feeling of impending doom is not paying very close attention. Doom may not be impending but it is certainly doing a very good job of appearing to be impending right now. As the financial crisis moves from sector to sector, financial to real estate to insurance with no firewall able to stop the conflagration, it is possible to get a little concerned about the future of the American way of life ?Somewhere in Beijing and Shanghi,right now, there is a discussion going on about whether it makes sense to continue to buy American debt. Would you buy it ? From a country that has essentially guaranteed every mortgage in the country. Folks, you better demand a good yield on those savings bonds. You can get as excited as you want about the Presidential election, but all the winner will be able to do is make a start in cleaning up the mess. What this election calls for is a Churchill to offer nothing but “blood, toil, tears and sweat” and these yo-yos are debating among themselves as to  which economic class deserves a tax cut and whether the term "lipstick on a pig" was meant to apply to the governor of Alaska. Talk about diddling while Rome burns.


On the other hand, it may be that things are not so bad at all and that I am just clinically depressed. Gosh I have been hungry a lot lately.


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