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On Economy, How Much Are We Really Hurting?

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On Economy, How Much Are We Really Hurting?

On Economy, How Much Are We Really Hurting?

On Economy, How Much Are We Really Hurting?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/92739739/92739705" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Americans are steaming mad! Hot under the collar! Boiling over the high cost of gasoline! So, how are we dealing with it? By buying iPhones and going to see Batman at the movies, of course. Humorist Brian Unger pokes fun at America's way of displaying its displeasure in this week's Unger Report.

ALEX COHEN, host:

Back now with Day to Day. And good news. Our humorist, Brian Unger, is back, too. Here's today's Unger Report.

BRIAN UNGER: I think we're sending the wrong signals to the oil companies. To the CEOs, the sheiks, the politicians. Well, to the evil despotic overlords of our world's oil supply, our feedback is flawed. Put yourself in their shoes, or sandals, or their bejeweled footwear. How upset do we really appear to, say, the Saudis, when we're willing to sleep without shelter, outside, on a cold, urine-soaked New York City sidewalk for eight days, waiting to buy a cell phone.

Unidentified Man # 1: We are working on a project to set a new Guinness Book of World Records for the longest time waiting in line to buy something.

UNGER: This is not a good project for young people. The Peace Corps, Meals on Wheels, these are projects. Buying something, I don't recall JFK writing about that in "Profiles in Courage." Oh yes, we are mad. Apple earned about 330 million dollars during the first weekend of iPhone 3G sales, according to Fortune. What does this mean? It means we're so angry about gas prices and the economy, we're determined to email someone about it, twice as fast, with awesome applications. Now I can play Super Monkey Ball while I sit in traffic. That's where we're really thumbing our noses at those oil speculators and cartels.

We're taking to the streets in millions of cars, in the same, choking, unabated morass of traffic, to tell OPEC we're not going to tolerate these high gas prices anymore. In fact, if I ever get to where I'm going, I'm going to call someone to complain about it, from my iPhone. But, to send a clear signal to the leadership of this country - we'll just pretend for a moment we have leaders who stand up to the corporate interests who profit from the high price of gas - we all went to see Batman. Here's a guy in line this weekend.

Unidentified Man # 2: Batman shows us that if we push the human mind to its maximum, we can achieve something like that.

UNGER: If we put our minds to it, we'll all be flying like bats. Achieving energy independence, I don't know, that's pure fantasy to me. We did achieve something historic. A record box-office weekend. Over 155 million dollars. We deserve to imagine ourselves as bats. We deserve the best cell phones, too. But somewhere, I hear a Saudi prince laughing as he slaps an oil executive on the back, as a politician carries their water. And I wonder, who's the real Joker? And that is today's Unger Report. I'm Brian Unger.

COHEN: And remember, you can take your Unger with you. Humor from the Unger Report is available as an NPR podcast. Find out more at npr.org.

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