The Adventures of Unemployed Man by Erich Origen & Gan Golan

The Adventures of Unemployed Man
by Erich Origen & Gan Golan
Little, Brown & Company, 2010

The satire is laid on with a trowel in this superhero parody by the authors of the equally acidic Goodnight Bush. Millionaire Bruce Paine’s alter-ego is The Ultimatum, an incredibly smug self-help guru who cruises the mean streets at night, lecturing poor people about their bad attitude from the plush interior of his American Dream Machine. He acquires a social conscience after discovering the enormous sweatshop he has just liberated produces his own merchandise, and is promptly fired by his board of directors, becoming – Unemployed Man!

It’s not at all subtle and the anger and fatalism is palpable, but there’s something quite fun in seeing Unemployed Man battle with Wall Street’s Just Us League, including Golden Sack and the Free Marketeers, who dismantle the Glass Steagall Containment Device and unleash a rampaging Toxic Debt Blob. Obama makes an appearance as a confused lei-wearing Hawaiian superhero in a big gold jockstrap, and there are amusing fake ads between the chapters for products such as Self-Pulling Bootstraps, and grim Fantastic Facts about economic inequalities in the U.S.

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