The entire world is in the grips of an economic meltdown so horrific that, in the unlikely event any of us can afford enough gin to want to procreate, our children will be lucky to wear burlap sacks and eat wood chips.
But you wouldn't know this from looking at the pop charts: T.I.'s conspicuous consumption come-on "Whatever It Takes" is at No. 1, just north of Lil Wayne's "Got Money" and "A Milli." (Akon's new single "I'm So Paid," also featuring Weezy, soon won't be far behind.) Not that hip-hop's ice-flaunting, wad-waving antics ever bore much resemblance to reality, but it'll be interesting to see how this economic downward spiral manifests itself in song as things turn dire and weird, as we're told they certainly must.
The luxe fantasy will be lusted after more than ever, yet it'll take less to impress. Forget "A Milli" -- "A Hundy" should do it. Then again, going by the Biggie Corollary, no money = no problems.
Until the bottom finally drops out, those of us straining to parse meaning from the breathless talking heads lamenting mortgage-backed securities and stock selloffs and bank bailout packages and the Holy Christ I don't understand the words I'm typing and why did these financial people name mortgage companies after rednecks (HEE-ya, Fannie Mae!) then act surprised they don't add good have an unlikely patron saint.
Pissed though he may have been that his band never got the financial rewards they were due, Joey Ramone still had enough dollars in the bank to get hooked on CNBC, or at least its button-cute flagship anchor: Maria Bartiromo, not the red-faced, scary shouty guy with the neck veins and the scary shouting.
Joey's irony-free ode to her from his 2000 solo album, called, with typical Ramonesy simplicity, "Maria Bartiromo," makes sitting home watching someone spout off about NASDAQ rates seem...sexy. Which is a good thing, because nothing else is on.
Joey Ramone - "Maria Bartiromo"