Long ago, a guy by the name of Van Morrison made a nice song called "T.B. Sheets". The song was a little obscure and bluesy, and did not become a hit by any means. It could be that it was completely forgotten thanks to another song by the same artist called "Brown Eyed Girl". You probably know that one.
T.B. Sheets is a depressing tale about coming to visit Julie in the hospital, who is no doubt dying of tuberculosis. While he wants to feel something for Julie and relate to her pain - all he can really think about is getting the f*ck out of that hospital. He repeats throughout the song "I can almost smell ... your T.B. sheets". Gross.
This horrible, depressing song makes a good metaphor for our failing economy. The banks are failing. American auto companies are failing. We want to feel bad. We want to do something about it. But all we are really doing is looking for an exit. Turn the channel. Read the headlines of todays paper through the glass in the machine. Drive by the signs at the side of the road where retail shops assure you "we're still here", but grasp your wallet while saying "I'd better not".