If there's a difference between us bums and these TIs, other than the ability to shape-shift into reptile form, it's the fact that a TI is gonna get his money, regardless of what happens.

Sure, we'd like to think that, if something bad happened to us, we'd still find a way to get by, but you know how guys like to think all types of shit. It's the reason why guys watch so much pr0n. Like the staff of the LA Times Beatbox blog, we tend to suffer from delusions of grandeur.

The truth of the matter is: if the vast majority of us lost our jobs, we'd be shit out of luck - at least until we found some other way to get paid. And there's no guarantee you're always gonna be able to find a job that pays as much as you feel you deserve.

I remember there was a story in the New York Times a couple of years ago about these guys who had risen to a certain point in their careers and then they got fired all of a sudden. And then they couldn't find another job that paid nearly as well. So they just said fuck it and took out all of the equity in their homes and hoped they'd die of a heart attack before it ran out.

Obviously, this isn't as much of an issue for yours truly. I don't even have any valuable property to borrow against, other than my Nintendo Wii. And what's that gonna get me? Probably half the people at McDonald's make more than I do. It's one of the reasons I'm able to sleep so well at night. The other reason: drinking a lot during the evening.

But I digress.

These TIs are in a way different situation. Every once in a while, they'll find themselves in a situation where they can't make any money - because they no longer offer a product that's worth a shit to anyone, so no one buys it. But rather than learning some sort of new, marketable skill, i.e. the kinda shit we'd have to do, they just go to the government and try to get on welfare, as if they were black women.

And the fucked up thing about it is, the shit usually works. You see this happening more and more often now that the economy is going down the tubes - probably for good this time.

Take for example, the situation with subprime loans. In the past few years now, we've seen thousands and thousands of people lose their homes, because they got duped into taking out these bullshit subprime loans. Not because they were poor or anything - I heard the average mofo with one of those loans was pulling down something like $40,000 a year - but because they weren't very smart, and we live in a country where you can pull down a sizable income without being very smart, provided you aren't Bol.

Earlier this year, the President announced that he was gonna set aside some money for families that had issues with subprime loans. But come to find out, hardly anyone would've actually qualified for that shit. I'm pretty sure he knew that when he signed off on it; he was just doing it to toy with with people's emotions. Then, to make matter's worse, he actually did cut a huge-ass check to one of the banks that was giving people these fucked up loans in the first place. As if anyone who worked there was in danger of being tossed out on the street.

What the fuck kind of bullshit is that?

Supposedly, something similar is about to go down in the music industry - which, you'll recall, was already fucked up before the economy started to get really bad, let alone now that motherfuckers can hardly even afford rice, let alone the amount of gas it would take to get to the one store in your city that still sells CDs. (Best Buy?)

Shit's so fucked up these days, not only did Lil' Kim's Bentley get repossessed on the on the five o'clock news (pwned!), but I see Atmosphere managed to crack the top 5 in Billboard this week, having sold only 35,000 copies of their latest, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. It makes me wonder how well the Roots are gonna do next week. Probably not very good, right? Maybe they'll still manage to crack the top 10. They seem like nice guys. It's tough to watch them fail like this.

But again I digress.

The music industry's solution? Their gonna start charging mofos a five dollar surcharge to use the Internets. Why? Because, well, fuck you, that's why. The recording industry has lost an insane amount of money in the past few years due to the fact that physical media like CDs are basically obsolete. And they're not gonna be able to make it all back by forcing jigs to shill for shit like body spray and Budweiser Select (what is that, anyway?) and taking the lion's share of their fee in exchange for a relatively piddly advance - as brilliant as that idea may be. (Leave it up to the TIs of the world to come up with some shit like that. Leave it up to the Jermaine Dupri's of the world to buy into it.)

The way it would work is, your ISP would charge you an added $5 fee each month, in addition to the arm and a leg you already pay them to access the Internets. That amount would go to the recording industry to help recover the amount of money they've lost because they're a bunch of fuck-ups without a business plan that's worth a shit. In exchange, you would get to download as much music as you want without having to sweat getting sued by the RIAA, which I guess you could right now. (I couldn't, because I don't believe in stealing, and because these labels send me a lot of shit for free, because they respect what I do, even when I offer negative criticism of their artists.)

If you're wondering how this would be at all different from the way most of you fruits consume music right now, I don't know that it would be, other than that you'd be getting raped for another $60 a year. As if anyone's got $60 a year to give away these days. I don't even think they have a plan to open a store or anything where you could get your $60 a year worth of music that you'd have pay for, whether you want to or not. This shit basically sounds to me like a Goodfellas-style protection racket. Ridonkulous as it sounds though, I wouldn't be surprised if such a system was actually put in place, knowing the way things work in this country. What do you fruits think? As we say here now, speak on it.