Once again, Washington DC received many west coast visitors. On Saturday Night, President Obama was given the opportunity to do give remarks in front of most of Hollywood’s A-list talent and correspondents from every network. Followed by Wanda Sykes, both have been given very high marks in the media for their performances. While the world took a breather from the whirlwind of H1N1 and torture talk, we sat back and heard a few good one-liners, and for a second, the sheer amusement of our government was remedy enough to calm the minds of few, and strike the funny bone of many.
In America, we have used the arts to mask, cope, and address problems that plague and threaten our way of life. The surge of the movie industry occurred as people needed an escape from the everyday reality of the depression. Rock & Roll articulated the “new & improved” outlook of the 1950′s youth in comparison to the conservative upbringing of their parents. During the late 60′s R & B began to articulate the displeased views of America’s youth regarding Vietnam, and that administration’s handling of the conflict. Studio 54 flourished in the 1970′s, as the old guard once again was cast aside, and many minorities were finding their place and voice in that disco filled society. The Rock Music of the 1980′s described Generation X, and how society misread and/or misunderstood their wants, desires, and motivations. With rap music making a significant imprint on the 90′s, teens and young adults alike began to describe their emotions through poetry spoken in sync to different rhythms of music. As we have entered the new millennium, youtube and itunes being blasted from iphones and ipods. The current trend of headphones coming from pocket sized devices are seen regularly, as today’s modern man/woman can pick and choose what trend in music, movies, and comedy they would personally like to identify themselves with.
Although, the President and many others were able to, for just a night, look at the lighter sides of the current situation, one harsh reality will be facing Americans as Monday Morning rises in the distance. The unemployment rate rose to 8.9 percent from 8.5 percent in March, the highest in more than a quarter-century. President Obama has recognized that this financial problem was indeed years in the making, and he is predicting that it could take months (even years) to come out of the current recession.
Stress tests given to the 19 largest banking institutions, which the reports were less severe than some experts had been preparing for, revealed: (see link below)
The test results showed that the 19 banks faced a total of $599 billion in losses over the next two years under the government’s worst-case, Depression-like scenario.
These tests has also brought about deadlines for banks, in which consequences for deadlines not met have not been laid out by congress as of yet. Congress has directed the banks as follows: Any tested bank needing to boost its capital buffer will have until June 8 to develop a detailed capital-raising plan and until November 9 to implement that plan. Some banks have already begun this task, with Wells Fargo raising 7.5 billion dollars in stock through a public offering. Other banks have made plans to fill their capital holes by tapping public markets.
One must keep in mind, that the banks have not been the only dire, important factor negatively impacted by the current turn of economic affairs. The Baby Boomer Generation is chomping at the bit for ways to keep their homes, cars, and ways of life somewhat intact during the dreadful time. Since December 2007, the number of Americans over 55′s in work has risen more than 800,000. Many baby-boomers have been forced to re-enter the workforce after losing their retirement and/or pension funds. One may ask, how has age discrimination played out in the competition for work since the start of this recession, and if Affirmative action will survive the backlash of this recession.
Nonetheless, in this American Culture, we have coined the phrase, “Laughter is the Best Medicine”; but will Laughter be enough to treat the American Economy and the effects it is having on its citizens…only time will tell.
I have always learned that it’s best to learn from people who have lived through situations such as this before, and a little wisdom just may share a little light to us from our Allies across the Atlantic.
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.