Sunday, January 12, 2014

2008 - The Election Everything Hoped To Change

The longer 2008 and the Bush presidency wore on the worse things became at the paper. The economy was going into the tank. Everybody in advertising knew this since there were no ads. If not for the revenue from government ads the paper surely would have folded like so many already had. The presidential election matched my prediction of Obama against McCain. By this time I understood how media steered the news rather than report the news. So the media's constant coverage of these two presidential picks meant only one thing - they would be America's two choices this election. Randy was a solid Republican while most people on the operations floor liberal Democrats. Tumbleweed naturally would be voting McCain as well while Dave knew he would vote for somebody probably.

Amy walked up to my desk and began complaining in her Filipina accent. "Oh look what Randy put on my baack." She held up a "Kick Me" sign. I smiled and replied, "You want to get Randy back?" Amy nodded answering that yes indeed she would like revenge. "Okay then, go get me an Obama sticker." Amy agrees to the conspiracy then runs over to scanning. There was plenty of Obama campaign literature hanging around the paper and Amy soon returned with a sticker that read "Obama/Biden." I smiled a devious smile as I took it from Amy. "Perfect!"

I pulled off the backing exposing the adhesive. Then I grabbed an ad jacket and walked over the Randy who was sitting forward in his chair exposing the vulnerable "Kick Me" blind area of the back. Timing would be vital in this political subterfuge. I walked into Randy's space slapping the ad jacket on his desk demanding, "Where's my damn ad?" Randy immediately leans back in his chair. I release the sticker with my free left hand dropping it perfectly timed so that Randy's back presses it snugly against the back of the chair. Proof of his switch in political choices clung it to his shirt back. Randy occupied with the ad jacket that is not even his responsibility chastises me. "This is a digital ad, you idiot! Give it to Dalin in digital." He whirls around with the ad, the Obama/ Biden sticker firmly stuck on his back. I grab the ad apologetically trying to keep a straight face. "Sorry boss. My mistake. My mistake." I take the ad from Randy and turns just in time to keep my grin from giving me away. This is too perfect - almost unprecedented. For the next hour Randy paraded around with the sticker on his back while everybody he passed snickered. Everybody knew damn well Randy was a Republican through and through. Naturally, I went throughout the floor advising everyone of Randy's sudden political conversion. "Hey, did ya see that Randy's now an Obama man?" I asked Faith who looked up amused at such a thought even being impossible. "You're kidding right?" She asked with her curiosity piqued. I respond, "Well if he's not an Obama man - then why is he wearing the Obama sticker?" Faith remarks in a disbelieving tone, "Randy's wearing Obama stickers?" I say, "You're damn right he is! Of course, strangely he chooses not to where the sticker as is done traditionally on the lapel. Randy wears his Obama support on the broad shoulders of his back." This causes her to stand up and look over at Randy sitting unknowingly at his desk sporting the sticker. They both bust out laughing.

Heather finally felt sorry for Randy and let him in on the joke. He ripped the sticker from his back like it was a poisonous snake then threw it into the trash can. He wasn't laughing at the time and there would be hell to pay when he figured out who had desecrated him is such a dispicable way. All of this political intrigue at the paper and subterfuge would fade from importance. The economy was looking like it would go off a cliff. More and more of the loans made during the height of the boom were defaulting. Apparently nobody knew who would get paid back so banks stopped making loans. With no loans being written the money supply dropped like a rock. After all that's where money comes from - cash created out of nowhere from nothing by the Federal Reserve to be lent out and paid back. With the drop in the money supply, the price of everything especially Real Estate dropped right alone with it. Before the end of the year the price of gas had crashed back below two bucks a gallon and continued dropping like a rock. The stock market was dropping hundreds of points day after day. People ready to retire watched as their nest eggs and hopes for retirement evaporated into thin air. Naturally, I was rather smug reminding everyone that gas did stop rising in July. Now the price of gas crashed along with the economy and money supply. "How many new refineries have been built since summer? How many new wells drilled in the ocean? Zippo!" I taunted everybody left and right. "How many new wind mills and solar panels?" The staff sat quietly as I finished my rant.

Meanwhile Congress was being threatened of they didn't pass a bill bailing out the big central bankers then Marshall Law would be declared. It suffices to say the T.A.R.P. was passed shortly thereafter. The banksters got their money and now we've got Marshall Law anyway. That's what it is when police and paramilitary forces can put a city like Boston under house arrest and randomly search the publics' private homes at gunpoint to look for one scared Chechen boy who's probably most likely being framed anyway.

I had also told anyone who would listen that Obama would be elected president. When my predictions came true Randy and Tumbleweed just shook their head. It was almost as if my prediction put me somewhat to blame for Obama's election. Even worse Obama would have the Congress. Once the election was over things really appeared bleak. The Christmas season was approaching but it would be a season of dark. Everyone working in operation as they traveled home late at night after work all noticed the same thing. There were no Christmas lights up anywhere in the business districts. It appeared everybody was battening down the hatches for a big storm. Needless to say the ad flow remain in a death spiral. I used the opportunity to teach myself the Adobe Creator Three Suite - well at least the Illustrator and Photoshop programs. The other folks on the floor did little as there were no ads to build, proofread or push don't the Track-it production line. So they worried while I even took a couple online course on the Adobe suite offered by the Post to the employees. But the others for the most part spent their work hours just worrying. Though I did productive things during this time while they worried, their worries were not without merit.


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