Barbara at work pointed me to the latest Dave Barry column, That Quasi Feeling, from Chicago Tribune Magazine (free registration required). It's about the economy in general, but here's why she thought I would enjoy it:
“Q. What is the FTOB?
A. It is a secret, quasi-governmental body whose mission is to persuade consumers to buy things to replace perfectly good things they already own. The FTOB got us out of the recession of the early 1980s by promoting the compact disc; this caused Americans to buy CD versions of all their record albums, spending, according to the Department of Commerce, $117 billion on Fleetwood Mac alone.
The FTOB is currently stimulating the economy with a bold program designed to convince consumers that they must: (1) replace all their CDs with something called 'MP3'; (2) replace their VCR machines and all their videotapes with something called “DVD”; and (3) replace their film cameras with “digital” cameras, which consumers believe are technologically superior, despite the fact that only 3 percent of all consumers can figure out how to get the pictures out of the camera, which means most people show you their vacation shots of the Grand Canyon by making you squint at the little screen on the back of the camera, which is the size of a Cheez-It. The entire economy is now based on consumers buying these things. Ski resorts will be built on mountains made entirely from discarded, but fully functional, VCRs.”
I just got off the phone with my parents, and my Dad is arguing that they don't need a wireless network after all because it's just one more thing that can go wrong. My Mom, of course, disagrees since she doesn't have internet connectivity on her computer. They'll both get a kick out of this column. [The Shifted Librarian]