As we wind down this month with an evening of hardened sugar and scary creatures, let us reflect on one truly ghoulish changing of the guard that will go down in history as having taken place in the fall of 2008: the face of the modern American bogeyman.
What has been the scariest thing you've seen over the past month or so?
The scariest thing I've seen is the haste with which the federal government - yes, that includes both presidential candidates...and the current executive branch whose unwritten motto once could have been "God helps those who help themselves" - has opened the tax coffers to save the arses of wealthy Wall Street zombies who've willfully broken their own financial institutions.
Given this spookiness, I'm baffled as to how the image of a monster in an Armani suit and a pair of Bruno Maglis meshes with the nearly 25-year-old image we've all been fed of an evil, lazy, shiftless, single mom being the biggest drain on government resources, followed closely by banjo plucking mountain folk, who stalk good, clean big city folk on their canoe trips through West Virginia.
The way we've all been dropped hints to fear the frightening welfare moms and mountain folk you'd think the giant sucking sound to which Ross Perot once referred was them draining the coffers of the federal government via $200 monthly WIC allotments, rather than jobs fleeing this country.
I am the first person to gripe about undeserving recipients of my money. And even you haters, who've read me for years, know that's how I feel. So don't try to paint me with a bleeding heart brush...though that imagery does work well on Halloween, don'tcha think?
Anyway, regardless of my desire to keep all my pennies, I'veI never bought that hype about the poorest of the poor breaking the government's pockets. Sure some of them have contributed. But here's a hellacious analogy most appropriate for Halloween: Even if those welfare recipients - the ones we were taught to loathe - have been a bunch of goblins, then the bank presidents and investment firm CEOs have been the collective Devil Himself.
And with the month we've had? Forever after the bogeyman will have a different look to me.
If, after a night of horror movies, I wake up in a cold sweat to escape a monster in my dreams, I can assure you the monster won't be a chain-smoking, baby-having, young, female, stereotype, chasing me with a deadly book of food stamps. She will be a he. And he will trying to strike me with a rolled up copy of flaming bailout legislation and laughing at me behind piercing red eyes from a corner office
in the sky in lower Manhattan.