This is a short documentary from 1990, when the (now) late, (always) great Ernie K-Doe was volunteering at Tulane University's WTUL radio, spinning the New Orleans R&B he helped make famous.
I DISCOVERED IT on the WTUL website, as I sat here in the studio, thinking I ought to add some sage observation to the Interwebs as Americans sit . . . and wait. Wait to find out how Congress is going to fix the fine mess we've gotten ourselves into, with an assist by the robber barons of Wall Street.
Wait to find out whether we're all poor now.
Wait to find out exactly how far the mightiest nation on Earth -- ever -- has fallen.
Yeah, I thought I needed to write something wise, or at least pithy, about this fine damn catastrophe waiting to swallow us all up. Is this Great Depression II? Shall we now arm ourselves, man the barricades and shoot the looters in three-piece suits?
Perhaps I could just sit at the keyboard and tell you I told you so. Whether or not I actually did.
BUT THAT'S not important now.
It seems to me -- as we tap dance on a ledge high above the abyss -- that the Fed, the Congress, the fancy bankers and the stock-exchange traders are powerless to screw up anything that particularly matters. We'll get by . . . somehow . . . with a little faith, a little orneriness and a little ingenuity.
We'll grow gardens and put in wood stoves, and we'll become a lot more "green" and a lot more local.
And we'll figure out that it ain't so bad, once you get used to it.
Screw Wall Street. Wall Street can't create an Ernie K-Doe. Or a decent R&B record.
We, if we are lucky, might figure out that our riches do not lie in our 401(k) accounts, but in our communities, in our churches and in our cultural cornucopia. We might come to see that we can be rich, even if we are poor (see New Orleans, City of).
Besides, not even Fort Knox could contain a force of nature like Ernie K-Doe, the late Emperor of the World. A pearl of great price who started out life during the last Great Depression at New Orleans' Charity Hospital.
Burn, K-Doe, burn!