Friday, November 13, 2009


Back in 1961, when I was all of 15 years old and the war in Vietnam was just getting underway, the author Joseph Heller published "Catch 22," that WWII farce that noted that a pilot in wartime Europe would have to be crazy not to be terrified of missions over Nazi-land. Therefore, the freaked-out pilot must be sane, and competent to continue flying more missions!

The book was a little more complicated than that, although as a kid I didn't exactly get it all, but the idea of "Catch-22" has endured. (In the George W. Bush era, it flitted about like Tinkerbell. Clap your hands if you're a conservative!)

Anyway, the Catch-22s of life continue. Today I endured one of them in trying to get, by hook or by crook, (actually by email or by 800 number,) my 401k account information. No luck. It turns out you need a login name to get into the system in order to get a login name.

Of course, I made my efforts after east-coast business hours. I'll try again on Monday, when officies open near the Atlantic Ocean and one hopes the robo voices can be bypassed. But, yes, Catch-22s endure: Stupid health-care reform that can't work rather than a simple expansion of Medicare, American-soldiers dying in battles in Afghanistan that can't be won, drooling politicians who can't think beyond their dumbest constituents. The Catch-22 Tinkerbells contine to flutter about the land.

Maybe I'll feel better on Monday, when I might actually get to talk with one of those really smart people on Wall Street.

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