Friday Funk: Squirrel-ly February
Words By Andy DeVilbiss
File Under “And More” - Squirrel-ly February
Hard times. As a wise woman I know is wont to say... It's cold in America. February's a drag, man. Hard to believe that we could learn something from a rodent that is a bushy tail away from being a rat, but this accursed month is why the squirrels save up them acorns. They need them when they're rocking sweatpants and Xbox Live. Speaking of rodents, don't talk me about the groundhog. He's only right like 30-something percent of the time. Old Man Winter's still got a figure-four leglock around the Land of Pleasant Living.
Here in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, Earf, today was the first day the thermometer crept over 60 seemingly since the day thermometers were invented. It's been the kind of dull gray weather that makes you irritable, tired, and trying to remember what the sun looks like. Christmas credit card bills due. Snow ain't so holly jolly now. It inspires a funkateer to do one's taxes. The Man likes his acorns, too.
Pardon the pun, but my problem with the idea of taxes is, in a nutshell- The squirrels could do a better a job with our acorns. They understand the idea of stocking up, operating with a surplus. The books for their acorn account are always in the black.
With squirrels, there are only three real crucial rules to the acorn game. You're allowed to work in whatever way you can to get squirrel-approved acorns. You really only gather and use the acorns you need, but if you get more than you need, go ahead and share with your fellow squirrel. And you can't eat more acorns than you have. That last one's in the “don't feed the mogwai after midnight” slot for a reason. It will bring some kind of consequences – starvation, relocation, war upon fellow squirrel – that ultimately leads to a more dire situation like the hijacking of Mr. Futterman's snowplow. If I'm a betting man, I'd wager squirrels are no match for gremlins.
A friend mentioned that cost of the Medicare program will soon equal the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the entire world. All the acorns on Earf. I'm not going to lay out my political or economic leanings here. It's not the proper forum, and I don't want to start arguments of that nature. But, I think we'd all agree running out acorns would be bad when it's cold and frosty. And right now, America's handling the acorns like squirrels gone wild, people. Lemme drop some funky, fuzzy-tail facts on you.
The national debt on January 1st, 1791 was just $75 million dollars. Today, the national debt rises by that amount about once an hour. By January 1, 1835, under Andrew Jackson, the debt was just $33,733. When World War II ended, the national debt was 122 percent of the GDP. By 1970, it dropped to 38 percent. It was approaching 100 percent as of November, 2010. The U.S. national debt has more than doubled since the year 2000, and both presidents this century have spent or are spending A LOT. How does that affect YOU? Ten years ago, the United States was ranked number one in average wealth per adult. In 2010, seventh.
As of November 18 2010, the current US deficit was $1.3 Trillion. Math's not my strong suit, so knock yourself out if that's your thing and add $4 billion every day since that date. Remember that's just the fairly recent operating deficit. While spending that $4 billion a day, America borrows $5 billion a day. If you want to astound yourself, just take a look at the total debt(www.usdebtclock.org). Careful if you're in a relaxed mood. It's like a horrific combination of Vegas and a the most garish Jerry Lewis telethon tracker-board ever.
It all adds up to one thing for America. To quote the esteemed economist Black Joe Lewis, whose research is supported by a renowned panel of Honeybears, “I'm Broke.”
I don't care where you are in the political spectrum, but you're probably not feeling too funky after that. Maybe a little shocked and/or awed? Trust me, this here squirrel is right pissed that he's not allowed to manage all his own acorns. I gotta give them to some tough guy squirrels who haven't had to worry about gathering their own acorns for years and make all the rules. They take my acorns and promise a service that is usually rendered expensively, inefficiently, and ineffectively. All while claiming they need more acorns to continue to do the same crappy job.
Sorry, but you have proven that you are nucking futs when it comes to acorn management, and there has to be a better way. (If you hear a sound other than music right now, that's probably me screaming.)
But that's ok, man. The Funk has always embraced righteous rage. Political power. Social justice. The pursuit of happiness and the hustle and bustle for that righteous nut. Besides, it's the dead of winter. No one will hear you when you scream.
We all better stock and keep our own acorns as best we can. You gotta be ready for history's Februaries. You gotta be ready for those hard times when it's cold in America. But The Funk teaches us that you also gotta be ready for those unexpected Indian summer days. Gotta know how to grab a little syncopated sunshine and some phat basslines. And if The Man hassles you about your nuts, fight back with dancing shoes and bring Fred Wesley for backup.