Friday, August 15, 2008

The economy is everywhere, man!

We’re in a recession (maybe).

Whatever you call it, people are in a bad way. The causes are complicated. Both everyone and no one is to blame. In any case, the future doesn't look so good.

Reporters are at least are having some fun with it.

We’ve all seen the typical housing article: a financially-shaky homeowner, often black or Latino, gets pulled into a loan they can’t possibly afford by some shady lender who knowingly ensnared the borrower, often leaving a once-hopeful community in ruins.

What started as a housing crisis has become much more. Journalists across the country are heeding the call, documenting the major story of our times in myriad strange ways. Here’s a sampling of some of the more interesting articles that have caught my eyes.

Speaking of eyes—the New York Times reports that rates of corrective eye surgery has gone down because of the economic slowdown. And if you’re still in the market for plastic surgery, apparently now’s the time to avoid the long lines.

The recession will rock you in ways you didn’t know. Better ration your popocorn at the movies next time. Actually, just get used to rice and beans.

Disaster creates opportunity, especially for us entrepreunerial Americans. The new bootleggers have already emerged, with a pandemic of gas-motivated crime and smuggling sweeping the nation. And all those stores in poor neighborhoods and guys whose jobs make them jerks seem to be doing all right for themselves.

We live in a self-conscious, media dominated age. Some of us are already asking: who’s the next Dorothea Lange? And what would Bob Dylan have to say about this mess?

If you’ve come across any bizarre or particularly illuminating economy stories, send ‘em my way. I’ll keep my eyes (uncorrected, sadly) open.

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