6 Ways The Recession Has Made The World Suck Less
The Depression didn't get its name ironically, in the way you call a big guy "Tiny" or Nancy Grace "lady." It really was a kick in the ass, and so is the current recession/meltdown or whatever we're calling it now.
But then you hear a story about how the economy may force everyone to stop wearing Crocs and you realize that as many kicks in the ass as the recession dishes out, there seem to be a few upsides. Such as...
The Environment is Doing Great
Ever since Al Gore became the boogeyman who springs up from the back seat every time we gas up the Hummer, environmentalism has been big on everyone's mind. We try to recycle, carpool and eat less bald eagle. But is any of that enough? Well, probably not, no. But don't worry, where your personal efforts fail, global economic crisis excels.
When the economy is booming we all want to buy lead-lined, CFC-spewing volleyballs and grilling accessories, all mass produced in China or India or some other part of the world where industrial runoff tends to also be bathwater for the average citizen. When the world suffers a huge economic downturn, pollutant-belching factories that cheaply make shit no one needs are the first to shut down.
You win this round, environment.
This has resulted in acid rain-producing sulfur dioxide levels in Delhi falling 85 percent in a year and it's been estimated the the US's and Europe's total greenhouse gas emission will be reduced by 100 million tons each in 2009.
Deforestation in the Amazonian rain forest has dropped 70 percent in a year because of the falling price of cattle and possibly because all of those "Save the Rainforest" buttons from the mid-80s finally found their way south of the equator.
Presumably if we hit Depression-era squalor all around the world, we'll at least get to enjoy fighting for scraps of food and blankets in a verdant paradise.
Great Deals on Whores
It says something about the power of the current economical crisis when even the oldest profession in the world feels the cold, uncircumcised sting of the recession in its rear end. Sadly, times being what they are, many conservative politicians and hard working fathers had to cut down on teenage-runaways; instead spending their meager extra dollars on things like grandma's medication and HBO.
With so many street walking girls and whore houses seeing a rapid drop in customers, many have fallen back on tactics that keep dollar stores and late night TV infomercials in business: bargain basement prices!
Reports say that promotions, specials, cut prices, flat rates, shuttle buses (holy hell!) and even discounts for seniors in brothels all around the world mean way more action for you and your wheelchair bound grandpa. How much action are we talking about here?
Well, some professional massage parlors, also known by their Christian name "rub-n-tugs," had to cut prices by 30-50 percent; meaning every ESL lady massaging your ballsack may only be pulling in $80 or so (and that includes a tip).
The situation has apparently gotten so desperate that Berlin's Pussy Club (the Mecca for lovers of both womanly charms and subtlety) started offering a 70 Euro Flat Rate service for unlimited food, drink and sex at their establishment, catering to the coveted "fat, drunken pervert" crowd who tend to drive the economy.
The situation isn't much different on our own continent. Canada's hookers recently had to drop prices to about $20 for oral sex or $60-$80 for the full on Canuck Fuck. Based on exchange rates, if you paid in American dollars she'd actually owe you money.
Tons of New Junk Food, and Fine Wine to Wash it All Down
If you tend to watch lowest common denominator shows, such as America's Got Talent, Cops or anything on the FOX network, and the commercials that cater to the audiences of said shows, you probably already heard about KFC's new grilled chicken despite the fact their very name makes this new idea look completely ridiculous. It'd be like Gary's Fisting Emporium suddenly offering non-fisting services, like firm handshakes and hugs.
Strangely enough, the recession has forced other chains to follow the Colonel's example to drum up sales. So now Pizza Hut is raking in 500 million a year selling pasta, and McDonald's is getting into gourmet brand coffee (each Venti Meal comes with a twitchy, manic poet toy of your choice). Rumor has it that Arby's has even switched from scrotum meat to actual beef, all in an effort to seduce those minimum wage yuppies into believing they're now able to live the high life at bottled toilet water prices.
Naturally if you're eating like obese, trailer-park royalty you'll need something to wash all that down. Maybe some fine French wine, like a 2008 Bordeaux. But, you might say, isn't Bordeaux one of them fancy wine brands meant for people with gold plated toilets who change their underwear daily? Not anymore.
The recent economical drought has caused vineyards all over the world to drastically drop their prices--sometimes even by 50 percent! So while still pretty much a luxury item, as long as your kids aren't too committed to stuff like dinner and clothes, you can get a bottle of Bordeaux for about $180 compared to last year's $360, and finally enjoy a touch of class while you snack on reheated chicken parts eaten with a spork.
Old Media is Dying Faster
Let's be honest: All of us have dreamed about making money off the Internet, but generally only the ones with a handful of undiagnosed manic disorders who undress in front of a camera for sweaty middle-aged men have made that dream a reality. Many companies still refuse to treat this series of tubes as anything serious, writing it off as some whippersnapper fad like Frisbees or Polio shots.
As a result, advertising in old-media like newspaper, radio and TV remains more expensive that online ads. But guess what happened when the recession hit? More and more people are putting their money where their porn is: the Internet.
In 2008, Internet ad revenues jumped from a measly $5.7 billion dollars to a much more respectable $7.1 billion in just one quarter. To put it in more Internet relatable terms: The current sum of commercial investments on the Internet is enough to buy you about 620 million gallons of Mountain Dew.
It also doesn't hurt that worldwide subscriptions to the Internet are booming, creating an innovative marketplace with a new batch of gullible consumers and money-waving investors who never would have been there if the recession hadn't taken all their non-virtual property away from them.
And as much as we hate ads (and hate paying for content even more), the Internet needs money to survive and innovate. It just took some hard times for advertisers to finally realize what a bad deal old media is. And they'll keep thinking that until the Internet figures out a way to get their product for free.
People are Forced to Grow Up
They say the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And while that may be true, it doesn't really mention douchebags who are poor but have rich parents. Where do those young men and women who wear knit scarves in the summer and wax philosophical over frappuccinos fit into the equation? Nowhere anymore.
There's a growing trend amongst trust fund babies--living Bohemian lifestyles full of patchouli and acoustic guitar loft jams in $3000 a month apartments--toward finding the purse strings being pulled tight as mom and dad get kicked in the ass by their own failing business ventures. Since shit rolls downhill, while the old folks struggle to stay afloat, the kids, many of whom haven't worked a day in their life despite being in their mid-20s, are having their financial support axed and are being forced to find actual jobs.
Will anyone hire me to drink PBR and be coolly detached from genuine emotion?
That's right: Masses of hipsters are having to enter the workforce. For some, this is easier said than done as employers apparently have to deal with outraged twats storming out of interviews upon learning they're required to work eight whole hours a day.
"In a row? I'm sorry, no, this just isn't working out.
But they're not the only spoiled kids getting a slap in the face from economic meltdown reality. Parents of little girls are apparently realizing that raising their kids with a princess fantasy (complete with princess-themed bedroom, beauty pageants and pink frilly everything) might not be the best way to prepare them for a world where the only time she'll get called "Princess" is when some fat guy at Hooters is demanding that she hurry up with his wings.
You are Living Healthier and Feeling Better
Research by Stanford University and the University of North Carolina has shown that when times are good people tend to not take care of themselves. We eat bacon-wrapped bacon and drink Thunderbird while we shower. We eat out at restaurants, we neglect our families and drop the responsibilities of raising kids on stoned teenagers and crooked daycare centers because we are also usually overworked and overstressed when the economy is booming.
When things are good, we want them to stay good, so we work harder to keep it that way. Ironically, when the economy does go to shit, all of your previous worries seem so insignificant you start to lay back and simply not give a rat's ass. This translates to a barrel full of stress you will not be having and more time to be good to yourself.
Ah. My children will be born into debt. Nice.
During the recession we eat healthier and smoke less. In the recession of the 1990s, heavy smoking decreased by five percent, which is something all those anti-tobacco activists could only fantasize about in their wildest wet dreams. People lose weight and pursue higher education; so on the whole society looks up when everything else looks down.
This of course doesn't mean you should be happy because, really, there isn't such a thing as a "good" recession, but it makes you feel like it's good when you see it written out like this.
According to the Office for National Statistics, we are basically on the exact same level of contentment we were 10 years ago. So even if we are not getting happier, we are living healthier and finding less reasons to be stressed out even if we're out of a job and possibly having to blow businessmen for beer money.
While not writing for Cracked, Cezary shares his bleak outlook on life on Drown Yourself.
To find out how to safe your ass during this recession, check out 10 Retarded Money Saving Tips (People Are Actually Trying) and Nectar of the Broke: The World's 5 Worst Ways To Get Drunk.
And check out some free boobs at our Top Picks.