florafloraflora (florafloraflora) wrote,

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Why I Love Stephen Metcalfe, Part MMCLXXXVII

Here is reason number 2187 why I want to have Stephen Metcalfe's love child: his essay on Don Imus is the smartest thing anyone has said about the whole scandal. From the opening sentence ("How iced-out in the bedroom and thumbed-under at work are America's commuters that they find drive-time radio funny?") to this paragraph:
...[The "nappy-headed ho's" comment] was said on the (false) premise that being "politically correct" is still a cornerstone of "bourgeois, upper-middle-class decorum," and is still a dominant mind-set in the culture at large. Imus was exploiting a cynical confusion, a common one on the AM dial. In talk radio, the P.C. bogey is kept on life support, the better to allow the heaping of abuse on the marginal and disenfranchised to pass itself off as speaking truth to power.
he nails the situation perfectly.

And now for a little Crankypants Moment. I might be a little impolitic here, and I apologize in advance for that. Yes, I feel a little sorry for people who are getting hammered by the "28" part of their 2/28 adjustable-rate mortgages (under which you pay a low teaser interest rate for 2 years and then a much higher rate for the remaining 28), and are now going through foreclosure and all sorts of unpleasant things. But I'm sorry, nobody held a gun to their heads and forced them to sign mortgage agreements that any fifth-grader could tell you weren't going to work. If the federal government bails them out, how are home prices ever going to drop enough for people like me who had the sense not to buy into the boom? I know the housing market is an ugly place for non-homeowners (believe me, I know), and it might have been hard to see any other way to live except to take on a reverse mortgage (the kind where you don't even pay all the interest that is accumulating month to month) in hopes of refinancing later on more reasonable terms. But by making those stupid decisions and refusing to realize that the market couldn't soar indefinitely far beyond the buying power of most consumers, those unfortunate buyers kept real-estate prices hilariously inflated for the rest of us. No, it wasn't easy to sit quietly through lunches when my coworkers yammered on and on and on about the triple-digit percentage appreciations in the values of their houses, or to be sneered at for still living in a rented apartment OMG honey bless your tacky impoverished little heart. It wasn't easy when I had to hope, secretly, that my homeowning friends would lose their shirts in a real-estate bust, just as they had to hope that prices would stay way too high for me ever to afford anything. But I stuck it out. Now should I be punished for that?
Tags: a little piece of my mind

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