Smart bombs

It’s real simple

These uncertain times have taken a toll on my certitude, but plenty of people are immune to the complexities. Maybe you’ve run into them. Maybe you’ve seen them on TV. They sound like this:

Me: “Oof! That’s some depressing front page today. State senate closes $9 billion shortfall by laying off thousands, kicking people off health care, closing the sexual predator prison, slashing slots at colleges, increasing class sizes and on and on.”

Mr. Certitude: “About time they tightened their belts. Live within your means, I say.”

Me: “Says here automakers may have to file for bankruptcy protection.”

Mr. C: “No-brainer. Unions have been sucking them dry for years.”

Me: “And here I thought the quality of the cars was a factor.”

Mr. C: “Whatever. The government should let them die. Obama should let all those banks fail, too”

Me: “Well, economists say that would be even worse for the economy.”

Mr. C: “Did they ever start a business or meet a payroll? Thin the herd. Let the strong survive. We’ll bounce back!”

Me: “The Washington Post-NBC News poll does say optimism is growing.”

Mr. C: “See? Told you. Is this a great country or what?

Me: “Poll says Americans have more confidence now that Obama is in office. Says they’re willing to give his solutions a chance.”

Mr. C: “What is wrong with this country? Cut taxes. Stop spending. Problem solved.”

Me: “Look, it says here the state might have to close Mount Spokane State Park.”

Mr. C: “What!? I ski and snowmobile there. They can’t close it!”

Me: “What about that belt tightening?”

Mr. C: “This is important. Just kick those illegal aliens off health care and keep the trails groomed.”

Me: “About 7,000 state workers are probably going to lose their jobs. The remainder won’t be getting raises for two years. College tuition will be going up 7 percent. All kinds of misery is coming because of these budget cuts. None of that bothers you?”

Mr. C: “Let me guess. You don’t ski.”

Me: “That Tony Bennett story sure was surprising.”

Mr. C: “Idiots! They should’ve paid him more!”

Me. “It’s basketball. He was making a million a year.”

Mr. C: “Exactly! Can’t expect a coach to get by on that! It’s all about market value.”

Me: “I see that the Chicago Sun-Times has filed for bankruptcy protection. It seems newspapers everywhere are in trouble.”

Mr. C: “That’s what they get for being biased.”

Me: “Well, it’s a little more complicated. …”

Mr. C: “Spare me. All you need is Fox News. Fair and balanced. They’re not going out of business!”

Me: “I’m beginning to see why.”

Smart Bombs is written by Associate Editor Gary Crooks and appears Wednesdays and Sundays on the Opinion page. Crooks can be reached at garyc@spokesman.com or at (509) 459-5026.

Click here to comment on this story »