The skin of my teeth
I've been scribbling to myself about what the Americanization of the world means, and whether it's good or bad and what can be done about it, but you don't want to read about that. It can't last long anyway, with deficits going up into the trillions -- the imperial collapse will come when our towns and states can no longer provide enough healthy, literate young people to work the weaponry that we can no longer afford. The US economic disaster will be like Argentina's, multiplied enormously. Maybe I'll be dead by then; that's some solace.

Actually, I've been thinking of taking up some high-risk activity ever since my periodontist pointed out that my teeth were deteriorating slowly and I might outlive them or they might outlive me. He suggested sky-diving. I love heights -- hang-gliding in Brazil was one of my greatest recent thrills -- but that's not risky enough. Besides, it would be as expensive as to have the necessary work done to save the teeth, and I'm sure I'd land safely and still have the same problem to worry about. So maybe instead I'll become a foreign correspondent. If El Jazeera will take me (but I'd have to learn Arabic), I could get blasted by a US missile by my own tax dollars that are not going to healthcare. Better yet, since I already speak Spanish, maybe I can try freelancing in the most dangerous correspondents' territory in the world, Colombia. Then my teeth are almost sure to outlive me.

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