On Libya, the Audacity of Golf seems to have done the trick: Nobody’s in the mood for a no-fly zone in another thankless distant hellhole just as Iraq and Hoogivsastan have dropped off the news. And yeah, gas seems to be going up, and, when 40 percent of Americans work in minimal-skill service jobs, it makes a difference to the economic viability of those jobs whether you’re driving there at a dollar-eighty per gallon or four bucks. “We have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” said Steven Chu, now Obama’s energy secretary, in 2008. We’re getting there. It’s just shy of ten bucks per in Britain, but there’s no reason a fuel policy for small, densely populated nations can’t work for Wyoming, because we’re investing in all those high-speed rail links. So you’ll be able to commute from your home in Rattlesnake, Nevada to your job in North Rattlesnake, Nevada via the Joseph Robinette Biden Delaware, Lackawanna, Atchison, Topeka, Sante Fe & Canadian Pacific High-Speed Interchange Facility & Federal Stimulus Mausoleum in Wilmington.
How will we power the trains? Nukes? Oh, perish the thought. Not after those whachamacallits in Japan failed to withstand the thingummy from the whoozis. Obviously, if something can’t shrug off one of the five most powerful earthquakes ever recorded, then we shouldn’t have anything to do with it at all, no way, no how. Instead, we should “invest” in “green jobs,” and then you’ll be able to commute to your overnight shift at the KwikkiKrap because the high-speed trains will have giant wind turbines nailed to the roof of the caboose, at least until the next of kin of boxcar-riding hobos caught in the slipstream file a class-action suit. And by then you won’t need to commute to the KwikkiKrap because they’ll have cut the night shift after the drop-off in vehicular traffic was so severe they had to change the sign to “CASHIER CARRIES LESS THAN $3.79 IN CHANGE.” But that proved to be the biggest stimulus to the American sign-manufacturing industry since they had to make all those “THIS TWO-HUNDRED YARD STRETCH OF SCARIFIED PAVEMENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE AMERICA RECOVERY & REDISTRIBUTION ACT” sign, so that’s even more good news.
The Audacity of Golf may yet prove a potent message. Many Americans seem disinclined to heed warnings, especially of stuff that Harry Reid assures us is a long way off. Change we can believe in? Thanks but no thanks. We’ll wait till it happens. In New Orleans, they waited till the hurricane hit, and then the cops walked off the job, and the fleet of evacuation buses lay empty and abandoned, and enterprising locals fired on army engineers repairing the 17th Street Canal, and less ambitious types went a-lootin’, and, when the feds showed up to hand out emergency debit cards, they spent them at strip joints, and of the refugees who fled to Texas 45 percent turned out to have a criminal record and the Houston homicide rate went up 23 percent.
So imagine if last week’s earthquake and tsunami had hit Louisiana.