10 Way to Screw the Screwers

From economic misery and political impotence to environmental waste and social catastrophe, American culture is overburdened by nightmares.

I wrote an acidic but nevertheless educational rant for AlerNet on how the citizenry lighten its load, return the screw to rapacious, and chart a way forward to a better global culture.

But be warned: If you don’t like bad language, you’ve come to the wrong place.

10 Ways to Screw Over the Corporate Jackals Who’ve Been Screwing You
The New Year is nearly here, and so much has happened. Wait, what’s that? Nothing major at all has happened, you say? Oh right, we’ve been stuck in neutral since dumping the toxic trash of the Republican Bush administration and embracing Democratic promises of hope and change, neither of which have blossomed.

A year of our collective life has flown by and our global culture is still rife with schemers, screw jobs and sorry excuses for solutions. And we just sit back and take it, year after year. But no more. When you make that hefty list of New Year’s resolutions, drop some of these bombs. Then duck. You’ll get your change faster than you can say, “Teabag this!”

1. Mortgage underwater? Just walk away from it. Even academia says it’s OK. Move to the city and rent.

“Homeowners should be walking away in droves,” University of Arizona law school professor Brent T. White told the Los Angeles Times. “But they aren’t. And it’s not because the financial costs of foreclosure outweigh the benefits. One can have a good credit rating again — meaning above 660 — within two years after a foreclosure.”

In a scholarly paper called “Underwater and Not Walking Away: Shame, Fear and the Social Management of the Housing Crisis,” White tells cash-jacked homeowners that they can return the screw.

We’ve been championing that course for years, with reports on walkaways and trashouts, as well as violent homeowner blowback. Hell, we called the Great Recession before most did, and we’re still calling it another Great Depression in the making. So trust us. And if not us, then take it from the professor, who will soon be joined by a chorus of similarly credentialed whistleblowers as the financial crap truly hits the fan in the years to come. Go ahead, move back to the city and rent. You’ll end up there anyway when your suburb runs out of water and malls.

2. Unplug your cable. The easiest way to kill the so-called news networks is to cut them off at their enablers. Don’t like the hate spewed by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp nutjobs? Pull your cable bill’s plug, or shut down your satellite. Tired of the way that Reality TV, in entertainment and otherwise, has replaced reality itself? Withdraw life support.

First, there’s no holy reason you shouldn’t be able to subscribe to a channel package of your own choosing. Listen to the voice of wisdom: “It is regrettable that the cable companies continue to balk at offering channels on an a la carte basis and instead continue to raise the price of their bundled offering[s].” You know who delivered that dose of media sense? John McCain. Yeah, it’s that bad.

Plus, you don’t need old-school TV anymore. In our digital age, you can go online for your news and entertainment, even if you can no longer tell the difference between the two. How? Streaming video sites like YouTube and more, or better yet torrents, which are the future now. Looking to watch your favorite episode of The Colbert Report right now? You can already do that online. Can you do it through your cable network? Exactly. Looking to watch something you can’t screen anywhere online? There’s a torrent for that. Like Napster’s file-sharing platform before it, the BitTorrent protocol houses the people’s media library, dedicated not just to pimping out the same crap seen on network and cable, but work you have never seen before, often stunning artistry left for dead by the side of the mainstream. Not anymore. Trust us, you do not need your cable. Murdoch and other old-media asshats will hate you for unsubscribing. Most importantly, you won’t miss 80 percent of the shit you watched when it’s gone.
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