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Year End Blues

As I wander through the blog roll I’m reading the annual spate of people questioning why they do this, and if it’s worth it. A lot of this is the let down as the holidays pass into memory, and the effects of reduced sunlight for some.

It’s hard to get enervated when the weather is miserable, and the economy is in the tank. I don’t have any magic answers, each of us has to find our own. A bit of the Russian soul has rubbed off on me and I understand the basic concepts: When things are bad, they will get better. When things are good, they will probably get worse.

A curious contradiction, but it works for me.


1 Kryten42 { 12.30.08 at 10:58 pm }

Curious my friend. 🙂 My time spent in the company of various Russians and over copious amounts of Vodka and other beverages, led me to the conclusion that under the carefully jovial surface, many harbored the belief that if things are bad, they will get worse. If things are good, they are missing something and the hammer will surely come down soon enough. 😉

Of course, most of the Russians I spent time with were pragmatic optimists. LOL

Ehhh… as I said in a previous comment, you could easily miss the new year. It will be the same as the old year. 😉

BTW, (and I know you know this Bryan, but for the sake of others) whilst it’s common in Hollywood fantasies that Russians always say ‘Na zdorovje’ when consuming beverages… I never heard a Russian say it other than as a joke when in the company of the clueless indoctrinated by Hollywood or as a reply to ‘Spasibo’. 🙂 As far as I know, Russians don’t have a typical drinking cheer. *shrug* I’ve heard curses, and other salute’s… One possibly common cheer may have been ‘Budem’ (short form of ‘Budem zdorovy’). I was once in a group with 3 Russians, 2 other Aussies, 3 Americans and 2 Canadians. We were at my favorite Russian restaurant and the chilled Vodka arrived and one of the party (I’ll let you figure out which) raised his glass and said ‘Na zdorovje’. The following silence was deafening and most eyes were on the Russians with some expectant smiles. I simply shook my head and looked down and broke the silence with a heartfelt ‘Oh… Jesus Christ!!’ To which the Russians, my compatriots and even the Canadians erupted in loud laughter and earned me a slap on the back (That, they do love to do, when they like you!)

Ah well.. another mindless illusion shattered! Oh dear… I’m on a roll today! LOL

2 mapaghimagsik { 12.31.08 at 12:24 am }

Whatever works. The economist in me can see the darker lining of any cloud. It can always be worse, and there’s always people being taken advantage of. Many of those people are powerless to stop it, and those people deserve my wrath.

Having said that, Happy New Year!

3 Bryan { 12.31.08 at 12:34 am }

Someone translated “to your health” into Russian without verifying that it meant anything in Russian – it doesn’t. The “na” makes no sense at all, while “za” makes minimal sense if you are talking about medicine. The ‘Budem” makes sense in that it is the best way of saying “to our health”, although it would be literally translated as “be healthy” and is an imperative form, as is used in response to a sneeze.

When looking at the difference between good and bad times, the Russians don’t set the bar very high for times to be considered good, and bad times will kill most of the rest of the world.

I forget who wrote it, but in something I read in school there was a passage in a novel about the Civil War and a group was cut off in a blizzard sheltering under some trees and someone says the standard “We are all going to die!” and the response was “Well, at least then we won’t be cold and hungry.” Even the optimism is dark.

4 Bryan { 12.31.08 at 12:48 am }

We were posting at the same time, Map.

You do occasionally get gloomy in your ‘toons and now we know it is economics classes, not vodka.

You are quite correct, that if they screw up the recovery package, this mess will drag on. The Fed has left itself powerless by setting the rate to near zero. Only a stimulus package that goes to people who will put it back in the economy has a hope of breaking the downward spiral.

All of the money that was pumped into the financial sector has effectively disappeared without helping anyone but the bankers.

The poor and unemployed are the obvious target for the stimulus because they have no choice but to spend it to live. They have to buy food and clothes, pay rent and utilities. They are the best place to start, but it needs to be quick.

5 hipparchia { 12.31.08 at 2:15 am }

one more day and i will have made it.

one… more… day….

6 Badtux { 12.31.08 at 3:14 am }

In the long run, everything works out.

Of course, in the long run, we’re all dead.

– Badtux the Cheerful Penguin

7 Bryan { 12.31.08 at 10:05 am }

Just stay inside, Hipparchia, and away from on-line merchants. A year is a long time, but when they start closing libraries because of the economy there will be a lot of great deals available.

Well, that’s the way things have always been, Badtux, but there is always somebody trying to change them.

8 Frederick { 12.31.08 at 4:16 pm }

Hear, hear!

9 Bryan { 12.31.08 at 5:27 pm }

How long until the Spring Equinox? Even though we never get below 10 hours of daylight, getting dark at 5pm is a real downer.

10 andante { 12.31.08 at 11:34 pm }

Works for me, too.

Hee is wishing you a 2009 that brings health, wealth, happiness, and kids staying off your lawn!

11 Bryan { 01.01.09 at 12:03 am }

I thank you, Blogmother.

I don’t care if kids are on the lawn, it’s the Baptists that are the problem. If you’re happy the rest will work out.

12 Story of the Day { 01.02.09 at 12:31 am }

[…] Why Now?: Year End Blues […]