who will bail out the superheroes?

It saddens me to report that our world, and indeede the universe, is a more dangerous place, now that the Justice League of America has disbanded. The ad hoc group of superheroes has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection and will, for the immediate future, no longer be available to defend Earth from evildoers. According to a brief statement from their publicist, the New York based agency Hill & Knowlton, the League will be going through a ‘reorganization’ and plans to focus its energies on ‘sustainable growth.” President Obama has asked Superman to step down, and the remaining superheroes will have sixty days to work out a merger with British football club Manchester United.

Fortunately for Earth, a new group has formed which will be called the Collective of People with Unusual Abilities. This group intends to “strongly suggest that criminals stop,” and it vows to do “several quirky things which might at least in the short term prevent evil from destroying the world.” The CPUA has announced that they may be contacted by world leaders at their office on the second floor of the former offices of Pinnacle Bank in Beaverton, Oregon.

The Collective consists of the following:


Ten Key—able to enter over 12000 keystrokes per hour…he is called upon when confronted with multiple evildoers, and is able to determine within seconds the number of people who will be killed by the evildoers

the filer

The Filer—an uncanny alphabetizer, The Filer is able to quickly and efficiently determine whether a given evildoer has attacked Earth before

text girl

Text Girl—has the ability to text all of her friends about an upcoming attack, using only abbreviations

clock boy

Clock Boy—When he was eight years old, his parents took him to the U.S. Naval Observatory, where was accidentally exposed to a toxic dose of cesium from the atomic clock; since that fateful day, he has had the ability to determine the exact time without wearing a watch—here is a picture of him indicating that it is five o’clock

These four intrepid savants are our best defense in this scaled-back era. God speed the CPUA!



Although some of the mystical ‘leading economic indicators’ seem to be recovering, don’t think this country is done with the nightmare. For the most part, I have been insulated from the economic crisis. A key reason for this: I had no money when the crisis began; I am exactly as broke as I was when all of this started.

But a some recent news items point out how dire things still are. In March, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra went on strike, and now it seems the Syracuse Symphony may have to cancel the rest of its season. What? We’re talking he cornerstone of the entire upstate New York classical music industry–how could we let this happen? I mean, GM is one thing–but the Syracuse Symphony?!  Where are the congressional hearings? Where’s the outrage?

I don’t think any of us can imagine where this will lead.  Fewer musicians working could mean that,  I think for the first time in our nation’s history, we could see musicians in the unemployment line. Less rehearsal time may mean that audiences will be forced to endure unevenly performed string quartets. And who knows–maybe they won’t even be played by quartets! Everyone knows that our nation’s cellists are the first to be cast aside in a crisis.

Of course, economic analysts often point to small regional orchestras as the true bellweathers of the economy–the proverbial ‘canaries in the coal mine.’ Just think what might happen next. Ballet companies having to dance in street shoes…operas mounted with NO incidental music… a production of  Wagner’s ‘Ring’ cut down to only three and a half hours!

If the SSO and other crucial groups are not bailed out by the federal government, the repercussions will shatter the very foundations of our society. We cannot leave our children a country in which community theaters, in the interest of ‘financial responsibility,’ have to mount productions of  “One Gentleman of Verona” or “Seven Angry Men.” Or a version of “The Music Man’ where the townsfolk can only sing about “55 Trombones.” Please, people. Demand that Congress save the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. Or this great experiment, this America, will surely collapse.