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The Anti-Sinister Plan

Cape Town, USA

As I travel to France this week to promote Les Adventures D’Ultra Chômeur, I’m looking forward to being interviewed as Ultra Chômeur in the French media. So I’m thinking about the character’s message to the people of France, especially the sans emploi.

If you’re like me, you grew up with superhero stories where sinister plans threatened the entire Earth. Perhaps these stories were preparing us for our present reality?

Today we face a global environmental crisis that threatens humanity and the planet. If ever there was a crisis that required all hands on deck, this is it. And yet… millions upon millions of us are unemployed. How could this be?!

Believe it or not, the same sinister plans that produced the environmental crisis also produced the unemployment crisis. Just ask Wonder Mother: The same things that impoverish mothers impoverish Mother Earth.

Separately, both the environmental and unemployment crises serve as mind-blowing indictments of the global economic system—including its total failure to “assign value” to anything that’s actually valuable. But when taken together, we have a real Wonder Twin Powers Activate situation.

The process of transforming our economy (into one that actually works) is already happening, but we need everyone to do their part. Are you ready?

Phase One: Transition of Power

The first step is to take the economic tools and methods used by villains, and use their own devices against them. We won’t stop there, of course, but disempowering villains is an important first step.

Have you ever worked for a villain? If so, you have something in common with Ultra Chômeur, who was once an unwitting villain called The Ultimatum. At Painecorp, he worked with villains including Greed Goblin and The Broker. Our hero is painfully familiar with sinister plans.

To confront the environmental and unemployment crises simultaneously, Ultra Chômeur has devised an Anti-Sinister Plan. It shifts power away from villainy, a system that promotes and even requires villainous actions, and toward heroism – a system that nurtures and expects heroic action. The plan has three main parts.

The Anti-Sinister Plan

1. Green, Awesome Infrastructure and Agriculture (codename GAIA).

Remember the WPA? Think of this as a Green Works Progress Administration, building green energy and green agriculture projects that produce long-term prosperity (as opposed to pathological growth for its own sake). It would be global in scope, but local in administration and execution. Do you have a community garden in your town? Can your city feed itself? Power itself? Manage its natural resources? Get to work.

2. Publicly owned infrastructure banks (to fund GAIA and other projects like school construction).

This isn’t optional. Today, infrastructure projects are financed by the same private banks (DBA The Greed Goblin and The Broker) that threaten the planet and impoverish millions. We must stop these villains from enriching only themselves. Establishing publicly owned infrastructure banks is a key step in reempowering ourselves.

3. Keeping our sense of humor (and other superpowers).

This is precisely where Ultra Chômeur and his allies come in. We need humor to keep our wits about us – and to inoculate ourselves against sinister plans of the future. We need to use our considerable superpowers to transform ourselves into the superheroes our world needs.

Stay tuned for more about the Anti-Sinister Plan. A bientôt and bon courage!

Your License is Hereby Revoked

I just emailed the text below to someone who shall remain nameless. I hope reading it fortifies you.

I take full responsibility for giving you, over the years I’ve known you, license to be disparaging of me and my work.

I originally gave you that license because I met you in my 20s, and you were seemingly in a position to help me.

Time and again, what you’ve given me is denigration based on what would seem a completely unfounded assumption of superiority.

Believe it or not, I’m pretty successful now. I’m a New York Times bestselling author. More importantly, I make great things that people all over the world love—enough to translate into different languages.

Your license to speak discouraging words to me is hereby revoked. I’m sure plenty of people would grant you the same license, but it’s my sincere hope that you’ll find another way to get to the place you want to be.”

Dear Mr. Cratchit

Dear Mr. Cratchit

Dear Mr. Cratchit:

Another year come and gone, aye, Cratchit? I couldn’t help notice you put EXTRA coal in the stove this morning. What are you, cold? Put on a coat, for heaven’s sake!

Cratchit, I wonder: Does a poor bastard such as yourself even realize that one glorious day you could BECOME a Scrooge!? It’s called the American Dream, Cratchit. Allow me to interpret that dream for you…

Continue reading Dear Mr. Cratchit on Funny or Die.

It Makes You Want to Cry

The Colonial Room

Above: “Colonial Room” at the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite, available for corporate retreats.

A large fire is growing around Yosemite, burning or threatening to burn the family camps that surround the park, including Camp Mather, a 350-acre site owned by San Francisco.

Some friends tell me the thought of those camps burning makes them want to cry.

I hear that. I’ve been to Camp Mather, and I’ve seen what a great time people have, and how the place is shared from one generation to the next. People are proud to say their father or grandfather camped there, brought them when they were children, and they bring their own children today. Continue Reading →

Obama to Sell Southern Whites in Africa

Obama Returns from Africa with Plan to Sell Southern Whites in Africa from Erich Origen

While standing on the platform where slaves were shipped off to America, President Obama said “The lightbulb kind of went on” Obama said. “All the Southern whites in Congress, they’re descended from the same assholes who bought and sold people from Africa.”

President Obama described his new plan on the deck of a fully restored slave transit ship.

“Today I’m announcing a new plan to sell Southern white people to African countries. They will be transported in period-accurate ships from ports in Georgia and Mississippi. Now, we probably won’t be able to fit as many 300 pound lard asses in these old ships, but we’re committed to making as many trips as necessary.”

Continue reading Obama Returns from Africa with Plan to Sell Southern Whites in Africa.

Financial Security for All Citizens

Golden Gate

Like many of my fellow Americans, I was horrified when the Great Recession threw back the curtain on our economy and revealed shocking inequities built into our economic system. I spent a lot of time reading data, looking at charts, and listening to personal stories. Much of that made its way into The Adventures of Unemployed Man.

This knowledge continued to percolate until one day I had a Big Idea for solving a lot of things. Not everything, of course, but a lot of things. I’m not an economist, financial advisor, or investment banker—although I have met a few of those people and found myself wondering (like the guy in Idiocracy): “Why am I the smartest person in the room?” So I wrote my idea down and sent it to friends less financially innumerate than me and, to my stunned satisfaction, they thought it could work! Whoa…

Ready for this? I’m gonna break it down all serious-like. Continue Reading →