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Buy American - Will Durst

Can we stop with the waving of the sharp instruments for a minute and speak rationally to this whole ugly recession mess we find ourselves currently mired in?

C'mon.

You know what recession mess I'm talking about. You're packing a bag lunch and taking mass transit to visit the public library to use their ancient computer to check out the job classifieds on Craigslist for crum's sake. Yeah, THAT recession mess.

Well, you'll be glad to hear we've positively identified the bad guys responsible for this meltdown, and they end up having awfully familiar faces.

Go ahead. Guess who's to blame? No, not the subprime mortgage brokers or Bernie Madoff and his ilk, or those reverse Robin Hood hedge-fund speculators throwing trillions of dollars worth of derivatives around like paper towels at a chili cheese dog-eating competition.

Nope.

The dastardly bums that created the worldwide financial crisis is ... us. That's right. You and me. And I hope we're happy.

For making former Silicon Valley start-up CFOs toil as Indian-casino valets. For driving down the price of 2-year-old Porsche Boxters to the level of a '96 Taurus with a blown head gasket.

For forcing casseroles and meatloaf onto the menus of 3-star Michelin chefs. It's all our fault. And how are we doing it? By not buying enough stuff. Damn us anyway. How dare we?

Who cares whether we're employed or not? Don't we realize we are the pistons that drive the free market engine? It's our God-given patriotic duty to go out there and buy stuff we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like.

We don't do easy. We do compulsory.

Remember how good it felt to buy that brand-new DVD we had no intention of ever watching? Aren't you just itching to tear the shrink-wrap off of something with your teeth right now?

Anybody can conspicuously consume when things are going well and money geysers from the ground like it did between the Bushes. It takes a true retail soldier to run up credit-card bills when banks are raising interest rates so high, it would not be off the mark for them to utilize a dorsal fin as a logo.

I wouldn't get this squishy if I wasn't seeing pubescent girls get punched in the gut with our selfish frugality. Girl Scout Cookie sales have sunk to levels not seen since Jimmy Carter was scolding us while wearing cardigans.

The Girl Scouts! Okay, that's it. I don't know which of you commie pinko yellow rat cretinous toads managed to hypnotize the rest of us into believing we're so broke we can't afford a couple of measly packages of Thin Mints, but you've gone too far. You fiend.

How soon before we take out our parsimonious wrath on the innocent producers of Sham-Wow and Snuggie?

Ladies and gentlemen, I implore you; open your wallets. Ask yourself, "What would Paris Hilton do?"

It doesn't matter what you buy. A Jonas Brothers lunch box. A $75 grass-fed, hand-massaged, Kobe beef porterhouse steak, bathed in boysenberry-infused truffle butter.

A 96-piece Limited Edition Pewter Napkin Ring Set in the shape of the characters from the Lord of the Rings. Ford.

Besides, this isn't about you and me people. This isn't about America. This isn't about Detroit. This is about the Girl Scouts.

Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail Will at durst@caglecartoons.com.