The Way We Live Now: Japanesely. Just as Michael Crichton predicted. America is a second-class faded empire, following in the footsteps of the Rising Sun. We let luxury drain us, embrace the culture of poverty, and prepare for the end.

Read the rest of this column out loud to yourself in Japanese. Have you heard? We're like Japan. They had a big huge bubble economy with collapse and now they've been mired in deflationary hell for an entire generation and kids have resigned themselves to living in tiny concrete hovels.

Sound familiar? Yea. It's like looking backwards at Main Street, USA, from the future. While carrying electronic devices manufactured in Japan. Read the stereotypical "tea leaves," people. Here we are, with the great villains of the Great Recession earning billions and the luxury goods industry coming back "whole hog," which is what goes into manufacturing a single thread on a Versace All Pig Outerwear Coat For The Rich. And meanwhile the only thing that most reporters can find to write about besides that stuff is the Culture of Poverty that is practically the new pop culture in American given how popular it is, particularly with the poverty-stricken people, which is everybody who's not working at Citigroup and embracing luxury.

Don't you see, dirty Americans (also dumb, just saying)? While you're off making your multibillion-dollar deals to corner the heating market in New England just before winter, the rest of the world is laughing at you, saying something like, "Ko-ni-chi-wa or whatever, Americans don't even speak Japanese, even though they practically are Japanese! Foolish xenophobes! Enjoy your Tea Party ride to a decade of deflation! Good job of not paying attention to history, jerks!"

Eh, we'll probably be fine.

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