Takeaways from the Great Recession

Now, moments of clarity when I started to understand a bit more about the housing crisis.


Mood: ominous clouds on a highway.

I watched The Big Short last night, on Thanksgiving ironically enough. Why ironic? Well, if you haven’t seen the movie (which is also morbidly humorous), it’s about the housing crisis. You know, that period where 8 million people lost their jobs / homes and everyone who previously had either trusted the banks or was unaware of them, saw the government and Wall Street as one in the same – and they wanted their hands out of their stuff. They were sick of being pawns.

Watching Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, and one of the guys from American Horror Story in The Big Short, you want them to succeed and “show those banks.” They’re the heroes here, right? At one point someone I was watching with said they couldn’t tell if we were rooting for Ryan or not – “is he one of the good guys?”

It’s hard to tell because it’s purposely confusing. I hesitate to use Forbes as a source here, but this guy doesn’t seem to mind laying out how we, majority of Americans making less than x amount every year, are letting ourselves be played by the banks, meaning the government is also played by the banks.

As long as ‘banks’ convince the public they’re right, they control the government. I use the term bank loosely, because in reality it’s just a breadcrumb trail on a windy path – there’s enough players that no one can blame anyone but “the banks” and “the government.” Which are…? What? The names? Businesses basically have the same rights as you and me, meaning if enough people are playing the game, they can put the burden on old Incorporated® and she* will be responsible for covering any losses. Conveniently, this protects everyone else, because after all, they’re separate.

*Obviously, Incorporated® is a female, because it takes all of the critical attention and shit of the men behind her, without any of the benefits. Also, all of her decisions are made for her.

So, were we rooting for Ryan? No. Because you aren’t Ryan, or Brad, or Steve.

Ryan, Brad, and Steve got paid millions of dollars (both in the movie and in real life) to entertainingly explain how people profited off of the illegal, deceiving acts of other people.

Unfortunately, having a number of people like the characters in the movie screw over the sleazes in the big banks didn’t stop the recession. It didn’t stop them from coming back either.

With that going on and who knows, maybe a student loan bubble looming, is it possible to be anything but cynical?

Apparently, because somehow, I’m still optimistic. Practical, skeptical, and sarcastic, sure, but always coming back to the positive. Depending on the circumstance, that roll-around can take more or less time, but it seems to be the default I come back to. Given the current state of things, that’s an asset I intend to share with whoever finds it.


Hello .blog

I’m deciding what to do with this space.

Because right now it’s just a mish-mosh. Kind of like my life. Feels like it’s on the verge of changing, but not quite there. I’ve been throwing myself in a number of directions, hoping something sticks. It feels inauthentic to be casually re-posting articles I write for other places here, but at the same time I don’t feel like any of those places are a home base. Linkedin, the Odyssey, the Mighty, pinterest, facebook, twitter, stumbleupon – just the splattering of online personas.

Having so much time on my hands the past (going on) 7 months, I’ve become enormously interested in personal development. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m just looking up stuff that affirms whatever views I have about myself. I’m exploring everything, challenging my own views – literally my laptop has become my classroom. I know it’s easy to judge the amount of time I spend on it, but right at the moment, I’m able to learn more here than anywhere else.

Politics, narcolepsy research, environmental matters, MBTI, the Enneagram, cognitive functions, personality disorders, recreation therapy (my own profession should probably be in here too, right?), technological advances in health care (and health care in general…), disability awareness and racial tensions, white privilege, feminist issues… the list goes on and on. I list it because I’m both impressed with myself but also a little judgmental because I’m not an expert in any of these areas… I know enough to discuss with someone who is more knowledgeable than me, but am not to where I can teach anyone, which I quickly learned not so long ago and felt I’d just ruined the whole thing.

Oh, and finding a job. Finally working on that as well, but nobody anywhere moves faster than cold syrup. The job is kind of like my golden ticket; getting that means I can move out, have a schedule and routine, meet and interact with people on a regular basis, and have some money to do more than desperately search for free events happening in my area or have my friends make me dinner at their houses.

Things aren’t moving fast enough. Not in the way when I was a teen and adults chided ‘don’t wish this time away!’ but in that I’m actually not doing enough (I’m also sick, again, but I was healthy for a good 10 days before that).

In an effort to ‘do more’, I thought it’d be a great idea to buy a domain name.

Why? What does this have to do with anything honestly? And what am I going to do with it? Candidly, I just had a feeling I should, and since the .blog domain is all shiny and new I was able to get something with my actual name and not have to turn it into some cryptic code because everything else was taken.

So hello elizabethjane.blog – I mean it has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? Currently I’ve no where to host my little piece of internet (because more money), but I’m fine with that. Having something that is literally mine means I’m now invested to some degree. Usually I make sure I’m *not* tied into something too far so I can just pitter around until the next thing comes along, but no more!