The Way We Live Now: coming to terms with hopelessness. No use being hoity-toity any more! Our neighborhoods are slums, we live off food stamps, and we work in restaurants. We must accept that we are normal!

It is sometimes amusing to note the way in which the highest reaches of the news media find noteworthy stories in what are, essentially, timeless and unchanging facts of life. FOR EXAMPLE, the New York Times today reports that food stamps are now acceptable. To get! No longer is not starving considered declassé. Alex Pareene for president of the New York Times!

Once you are able to accept your poor person way of eating, you'll also be better prepared to accept the fact that the "suburb" you moved into 20 years ago is rapidly becoming a "slumburb." Living in cities used to be out, but now it is back in—especially since the suburbs are post-mortgage-apocalyptic wastelands full of empty McMansion husks. Old slums, just like the new slums. But with more urban sprawl!

Now let's talk about your job! Your normal person job, which is working in a restaurant. Here, let's talk about this aspect of your normal person restaurant job: "90 percent of industry staff members are not offered health insurance or sick days, 67 percent go to work sick, and 38 percent are forced to work off the clock...Restaurant workers around the country on average made $12,868 in 2008."

This is the sort of thing that normal Americans are dealing with, pretty much always and forevermore! Food stamps and shitty housing and poverty-level jobs with few if any benefits. The American dream is fully intact.

[Pic via]