Saturday, June 13, 2009

problems i'd like to have - part 1 of an occasional series

the news media has long exhausted the usual supply of recession stories about job loss, healthcare crises, detroit, retirement, etc. running parallel to this theme of quiet desperation are stories about (what i like to call) problems i'd like to have. the chief source of PILTH (ha!) is, of course, the new york times, which consistently runs stories about people on the brink alongside tips on how to weatherize your second home.

example #1: you saw this story about williamsburgers who can no longer rely on their parents to support their lifestyles. you rolled your eyes, too, at ridiculous anecdotes like -

Luis Illades, an owner of the Urban Rustic Market and Cafe on North 12th Street, said he had seen a steady number of applicants, in their late 20s, who had never held paid jobs: They were interns at a modeling agency, for example, or worked at a college radio station. In some cases, applicants have stormed out of the market after hearing the job requirements.

“They say, ‘You want me to work eight hours?’ ” Mr. Illades said. “There is a bubble bursting.”

and the biggest PILTH of all:

Mr. Weinstein has been advising two brothers in their late 20s who wanted to buy a $700,000 apartment with $250,000 from their parents. But their parents’ investment portfolio has lost so much value that they now can give only $50,000. Since the brothers make about $45,000 a year each, they are now shopping for a $500,000 apartment.

bailout, please. and then it made me think, is this article meant to be tongue-in-cheek?

in contrast, the journal--which you expect would run out-of-touch to the max stories (here is one)--has been surprisingly practical with its advice. revise your resume, don't screw up that phone interview, y'know. it also featured this story about a former wall street banker turned waiter:

Recently, their oldest daughter asked Mr. Araya if the family would have to move. He told her he didn't know. She countered: "How much money do we need?"

"The way she looked at me," Mr. Araya says, "I could tell she was counting the money in her piggy bank." He went into the bathroom and cried. After a few minutes, he dried his eyes and walked back into the living room.

oh god, bring back the PILTH.

anyway, obligatory hockey reference--red wings, what happened?


cold4thestreets said...

Oh my god. I totally forgot to weatherize my second home. There goes the weekend.

Molly said...

i'm glad you blogged about that article, E. It literally made me hop up and down and tear my hair with rage.

E said...

the times doesn't tell you, but you know what's the best insulation? others' hopes and dreams.