Archive - Jul 2009

Debit Where Debit Is Due

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Last night, in Washington D.C., a bunch of people spent a bunch of time on an oversold "teachable moment". Big fucking whoop. Every day at You Are Dumb Dot Net is a teachable moment. And some days have even more than one teachable moment. We call those days SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAYS.

If you want one good reason why nothing decent ever gets done at the high levels of government, here's one. Imagine how much effort Obama's advisors had to put into choosing what beer he'd have with Crowley and Gates, simply because they know whatever he drank would be analyzed with even more scrutiny than his choice of burger toppings. I'm pretty sure Obama's beer choice has already gotten more media coverage than the Downing Street Memo. Apparently he's drinking Bud Light, which just shows that Obama is willing to make serious sacrifices for the sake of his agenda.

If you want one good reason why nothing decent ever comes out of the banking industry, consider, for the moment, an actual letter I got in the actual mail from my actual bank, Wells Fargo. Apparently they need to make up the revenue they lost steering minorities into riskier mortgages than less-well-off white clients*, and have decided that the best way to do this is a mass mailing that reminds their customers how their debit cards work. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Your Wells Fargo Check Card is the easy way to pay for all your purchases. Just swipe your Check Card through the card reader, or hand it to the cashier when you're ready to pay. You'll save on trips to the ATM to get cash, and you can leave your checkbook at home. - Brenda L. Yost, Senior Vice President*. Emphasis hers.

Apparently, Ms. Yost, or more accurately, the marketing people who decided she should be the one to sign onto this missive, is under the impression that their customer base is composed entirely of inbred morons with severe head injuries who have been cryogenically frozen since 1982. We've awoken in a strange, confusing world, and all we want are the answers to two simple questions. Why is everyone laughing at my Rising Sun headband, and how the fuck do I use this strange credit-card-looking thing I just found tucked into my denim wallet?

It's worse than that, by the way. The three key points of the above quote are also bulleted in large type. Another paragraph implies that I spend a lot of time fumbling for change, which I think is a bit rude, considering my severe head trauma and slightly frostbitten fingers. But the best part is the inexplicable mandate-slash-slogan printed on the top third of the letter, so that it's the first thing I see when I pull it out of the envelope. "Sign the receipt when using your Wells Fargo Visa Check Card", it says, which is both an odd imperative on the face of it, and it's also not even true, since pretty much everyone has stopped bothering to have you sign for anything under $25. They may be too big to fail, but they're clearly too stupid to live. The only good news is the paper it's on is 30% post-consumer recycled, which means only 70% of a tree got wasted to tell me something that their extensive bank records show I know, and know all too well. Fuckheads.

I'm sorry, I thought I was done with it, but I'm not. In the five-and-a-half years I've been writing YAD, I'm pretty sure that I have never cared about anything in the entire world less than I care about the "beer summit". Every single detail I learn about it, against my will, is like a red-hot knitting needle poked into an orifice chosen at random by Chris Matthews spinning an oversized roulette wheel.

Seriously, someone needs to put every single reporter who expresses the slightest interest in the beer summit in a locked room while a team of world-renowned behavioral scientists work to find the fucking cure to their fucking dysfunction. As of this afternoon, a Google News search on "Obama Gates beer" turns up eight thousand results. At this point, I want it to be some kind of elaborate plot. I want there to be a scheme or a caper. I want the beer summit to be a carefully contrived distraction so that the eyes of the American press are all on three men and two cups while, I don't know, Obama's minions secretly convert everyone to Islam, or Joe Biden uses Dick Cheney's old assassination squads to take out all the Blue Dogs who oppose the public option. I don't care what the scheme is, really, I just want there to be one so that this massive insult to the already devalued and debased intelligence of the American news consumer isn't entirely in vain.

*Allegedly, of course.