If I were given the opportunity to be any kind of bird in the world, I would definitely want to be an ostrich. Why? Because I believe the best place for my head, given the current economy, is buried deep in the sand.
Every day I flip on CNBC and MSNBC to watch the latest business news. About 10 minutes into the news I find myself scratching my linoleum floor trying to dig a hole big enough to stick my head in. I can't help but think back to my childhood way of avoiding bad news. Remember sticking your fingers in your ears and singing so loudly you couldn't hear anyone? "La, la, la, la, la, la... I can't hear you!" Childish, but effective.
The ostrich learned this lesson a long time ago. Apparently, it's better to get bit in the behind by a lion than bit in the head. In today's climate, watching television is worse than a good bite to the backside. If you don't believe me, just ask Eliot Spitzer.
What exactly am I talking about? I'm talking about the plethora of dark and gloomy news that we are being bombarded with, of course. I'm not exactly sure what a sub-prime market is, but I do know it's capable of totally screwing up our economy. Add a little speculation about a recession, record high oil prices, the falling housing market, the Duncan Yo-Yo-like stock market and the dollar at an all-time low and you have a climate made for an ostrich.
Perhaps it has something to do with karma or biorhythms because all these bad vibes are spilling over into our entertainment as well. While flipping through the channels last night I couldn't help but think that Armageddon (not the Bruce Willis movie) is right around the corner.
In one night, while attempting to find some fluff to take my mind off my trouble, I learned all about super comets. Not the kind that make pretty streaks in the sky, but the kind that crash into the earth, vaporize our oceans and exterminate man. We've been hit before, so we can certainly be hit again. Ouch!
I flip the channel. Next up, I learn about supervolcanoes. No, not the volcanoes they make out of onion rings in a Hibachi restaurant. I'm talking about the volcanoes that erupt and spew out billions of tons of material into the atmosphere, darkening our sun for years and wiping out civilization. To make matters worse, I learned that Yellowstone National Park is actually sitting on a supervolcano that is overdue for a blowout. I must admit, this takes a little steam out of my family's summer vacation plans.
My final channel surf of the night landed me on the National Geographic Channel for what I was hoping was a little bit of Cesar Milan and The Dog Whisperer. Sadly, I learned Cesar was bumped for one more Ostrich-like documentary. This particular one must have already seen the shows about comets and volcanoes. It was about what exactly will happen to our planet after civilization is wiped off the face of the earth. Among other things, I learned that apparently concrete doesn't last forever. Thankfully, I also learned that after we're all gone for about 500 years, this global warming thing should turn itself around!
What's the point of all this? My point is, try not to get too wrapped up in all this horrific economic news we're getting hit with. In the greater scheme of things, it just doesn't matter. My suggestion is to do your best ostrich imitation, turn off the TV and start loading your bomb shelter with supplies -- just in case.
If civilization is still around, be sure and check out next month's column where we list 10 company stocks that are positioned to take advantage of the latest Mars colonization trend.
Once a mildly amusing comedian, Bill Miller now works as a recruiter for a top independent broker-dealer; reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.