Just don’t do it! I shouldn’t have to keep reminding you of this, but, in the name of sacred duty, I find that I must continue the thread. And, this time, y’all best listen up. Because the stakes have never been higher.
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So, for the umpteenth time: The Electric Fence is a barrier that is chockful of dangerous current, for which your “whiz” (which emanates from your anatomy) is a powerful conductor. So, bad things happen when you whiz on the Electric Fence,
But you guys keep doing it. And fellas, trust me, it’s a bad move on your part.
And as for the ladies? Well, never mind. But, then again, on balance, ladies tend to have a more sensible approach to Electric Fence-whizzing (and other matters) than do their male counterparts.
In any event, I find myself annoyingly compelled, in this week’s note, to yet again lecture you on this topic. Because (as you know) I am watching you, and my observation is that your Electric Fence whizzing activities are running rampant.
However, beyond this, there are a number of reasons why the topic is timely.
Most specifically, it originates from the magnificent animated, Nick at Nite series “Ren and Stimpy”, which blew the minds of Viacom viewers (including yours truly) in the early ‘90s. Viacom (owner of N
N) was the brainchild of Sumner Redstone, who died this week, at the age of 97. There is a new documentary about the making of “Ren and Stimpy” that dropped into streaming-land a couple of days ago, and one of the 2nd tier cable networks (forget which) just announced an R/S reboot, to be released later this year.
But let’s talk about the episode in question for a bit (why? My blog/my rules). The plotline involves a visit of Ren’s cousin Sven, from an unnamed Scandinavian country; probably Sweden. Sven is a lot more like Stimpy than Ren. While Ren is lean, jumpy and perpetually irritable, Sven is fat, lethargic, affable and patently stupid.
Much to Ren’s rage, Sven and Stimpy form an immediate and profound “bromance”.
In one memorable scene, Stimpy tilts his head and out pops a pink globule about the size of a marble.
“What’s that?” asks Sven.
“Oh it’s just my brain” responds Stimpy, as he stuffs it back into the space between his ears.
“So big?” Sven inquires back.
He then, by way of comparison, pulls out a pair of tweezers, sticks it into his cranial cavity and removes his own grey matter, which turns out to be smaller than a single pellet of birdseed.
But the moment of pure magic arrives when they both realize that they share a favorite board game — you guessed it – DWotEF. And one can’t hardly blame them for their enthusiasm.
Just look at the box (along with the accompanying image of Sven and Stimpy), and tell me it doesn’t give you the urge to belt out a robust chorus of that Stinky Weezleteats classic: “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy”:
Yup, it’s all fun and games. Until somebody whizzes on the Electric Fence.
And yet we’re all doing it, the ample mass, volume and functionality of our brains notwithstanding.
I suppose I’m gonna have to cite a few examples. Well, how about the Gallant 500’s Electric Fence whizzing charge to within 10 handles of an all-time high? It’s up over 3% halfway through this happygo- lucky month of August, and 4.2% across all the magic, fence-whizzing madness of 2020.
Let me ask you: does this feel like sound safety or hygiene?
From my point of observation, though nothing untoward has yet transpired, it does strike me that buyers up here are, at minimum, running considerable risk of having their bits burned by electric juice.
But of course, in terms of fence-whizzing, the G5 is entirely eclipsed by Captain Naz, whizzing his way to an approximate 40% year-to-date gain. His liquid waste has yet, by all appearance, to have even come close to an interaction with electric current. But perhaps that’s because he’s a tech whiz who knows his way around circuitry of all kinds.
But a quick look at the leader board reveals that our own Federal Reserve is the entity most poised to take top fence-whizzing honors. It has dumped trillions of liquidity volts into the financial power grid, and has indicated that, if necessary and as appropriate, there’s more of the oozy yellow/green stuff available for the asking. I reckon that we can take comfort that it is the Fed that controls the on/off switch, the diverters, capacitors – all of the critical components of the Electric Fence.
Thus far, they have avoided unfortunate accidents, in fact, have managed the uber enhanced grid with great aplomb, for more than a decade.
Here’s hoping they stay on their game, because: a) where would we be without their engineering wizardry? and b) one false move on their part, and…
But navigating the board may become significantly more challenging in the days to come, for reasons over which they had no explicit role.
In recent years, us Yanks have been swilling our bellies and filling our bladders with beer, sending selfies on our smartphones, and generally laying the groundwork for an Electric Fence whiz of epic proportions.
Contemporaneously, our opposite numbers in China were cranking up their production control of much of what makes life worth living in these parts. They manufacture over 90% of the world’s computers/smart phones, and control 95% of the rare earth minerals that are essential inputs into these wondrous machines.
Heck, they even produce >80% of its frigging air conditioners.
The list goes on. They pump out over 90% of our medicines, an even greater share of our antibiotics, and an unknown but certainly significant majority of our opioids. In this sense, even setting aside our hurt feelings over covid, they’ve got our delicate parts in a pretty precarious position. Should they choose to switch on the electricity in the fencing around these vital areas of manufacturing (located, I’m told, somewhere near the Great Wall), well, we’re gonna feel the jolt, starting from in our Johnsons, and extending out to our other extremities and vital organs.
And meanwhile, all I want to do is be with you. All the time. It’s all I can think of.
But when I look at the nexus between our enabling, monetary road to immediate, Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy gratification, and their extended, more somber, empowering journey to manufacturing hegemony, it looks to me like American whiz is on a collision course with Sino AC/DC-charged trellis.
Thus, if I was running the show (I thank God every day that I’m not), my path towards fixing a crippled domestic economy would involve a fiscal stimulus focused upon repurchasing rare earth minerals, and repatriating vital parts of critical technology and biotech supply chains. If this required further juice from the Fed, so be it. But we gotta get most of this sh!t produced back home. Particularly the opioids. Because it is the opioids that get many of us through these often-miserable hours, and, one day, China may simply cut off our supply.
My plan might even create some good jobs along the way, and lord knows we can use them.
But all of that would cost a great deal of money, for all of us. Our medicines and handhelds, occupying, as they do, such a disproportionate share of our daily existences, would undoubtedly be rendered more expensive by repatriation. And this is to say nothing of the looming higher prices on the way for such concepts food, travel, leisure and hospitality. The term of art for all of this, my loves, is inflation. Which is one thing we probably don’t need right now.
However, as the observers of Stimpy and Sven might observe: “play stupid games, win stupid prizes”.
And I’d like to be the very first on the planet to point out that our leaders have done nothing to address these problems, but I have a hunch someone beat me to the punch. It’s election season, an overwrought one at that, and, somehow, the topic barely comes up. Instead, virtually all that passes for current political debate amounts to little more than a big fat whizzing contest. Meanwhile, that buzzing fence looms ever closer on the horizon….
See more: La Paz De Dios Que Sobrepasa Todo Entendimiento, Filipenses 4
But I don’t want to accuse everyone of setting up permanent camp at the DWotEF game table. The historically heroic American consumer has actually acted with an encouraging show of intelligence and rationality of late. Savings rates have surged since Corona, and, last month, statistics show that borrowers paid down an historic >$100B of credit card debt. Good on all of you. But as I’ve stated in the past, shame on that subset of the population that is fixated on day trading, while carrying crippling credit card balances (and yes, I’m pointing at YOU: Robin Hooders).
As a risk manager I am able to state with certainty that the 27% after-tax rates you are paying imply the need for a >50% annualized return in the markets to achieve the same economic results as would derive from simply paying down your Visa balances and cutting that $