I should have just gone back to The Friary and gone to bed, but I saw that coming so there is no use complaining about it. After I've complained about it.
Eric showed up at 8:00 and we were off to work. I was out of it all day relying on aspirin and coffee to get me through. We did a few yards, boarded up a busted window, and I caught some much-needed winks in his truck while he was at Lowe's. The day was fine, but it could not end quickly enough! The day was worse for Chris; he had to open and was at work by 5:45!
Eric dropped me off at 3:00 and Chris was already home and in bed recovering. I decided to do the same, and got a few hours of sleep before we headed down to the coffee shop to get caffeine in our systems and say hi to Angela. We then went back home and watched Idiocracy and part of Easy Rider before Angela showed up to hang out and play Monopoly. Exciting times for exciting people!
And that was Monday. Good stuff, eh?
Tuesday, on the other hand, was much better. Work again started at 8am, and Eric and I were right back to our old ways, talking about the Human Condition and politics while observing how people live while driving all over the Denver metro. It's generally ideas and debate theorizing about where we're headed as a culture, and discussing how people are convinced to chase all these foreclosed houses we maintain for the banks, plus the cars, TVs, and the rest of the "American Dream". The whole time they are convinced that THIS is the "essence" of life! Work the best part of your lives only to take whatever wealth you accumulate and hand it to someone else...then wonder why life feels so "empty".
“America spells competition; join us in our blind ambition; get yourself a brand new motor car”
These discussions are the part of the job that appeals to me, and has for a couple of years.
This was a particularly intense day of discussion. Chris had reminded me of something I’d thought of a long time ago with an offhanded comment that a friend made to him about the IRS and when/why it was created. It HAS NOT been there from inception. Then, while Eric and I were sitting in a particular house the conversation turned to the systemic method of keeping people in a cooperative state of mental slavery. We discussed the selling, then exploiting, of fear. Encouraging, even fostering, intentional (willful) ignorance by defining and marketing an idea of ‘happiness and success’. An imposed definition that anesthetizes critical thought, and merely benefits the economic elite encouraging you to emulate them, while at the same time demanding you pay them 'tribute'.
“There’s room at the top they are telling you still…”
** RANT ALERT***
YOU foot the bill to sustain that system, and with that money they, while in the same breath telling you that ‘socialized’ health care is ‘too expensive’, provide Corporate Socialism to oil companies, failing airlines, banks. They ‘provide’ a fabricated war that conveniently benefits, with BILLIONS of YOUR dollars, the conveniently well-connected Capitalists that are conveniently poised to make obscene profits, while 4,000+ mostly poor Americans and countless poor Iraqis lie dead. Moreover, what happened to the cheap gas and WMD they were promising with the war?
Your ‘tax dollars at work’. However, break a leg without insurance?
“Fuck you. Pay me.” (Name THAT movie)
Combine the Corporate Socialism with the Iraq War and you could college-educate and provide health care to EVERY AMERICAN. Think they really want to do something about cutting dependence of ‘foreign oil’? Bullshit. Prove it. Don’t talk to me about it ‘costing billions of dollars’ to retrofit decaying auto plants in Detroit to produce wind turbines thereby replacing lost manufacturing jobs by creating a new American industry: American jobs to solve American problems. Ask them why they outsourced THESE jobs! Or solar panels on every home?
‘Billions of dollars?' Fuck. You.
Health care, education, and sustainable energy. Add your own. These are the problems that REAL people are concerned with. Yet there are no results beyond the high pitch rhetoric we hear from Obama and Clinton. Rhetoric to get elected. However, when the vast majority demand a different direction for their tax dollars, health care rather than dead Marines and Iraqis, health care rather than more corporate millionaires, and repeatedly nothing changes, the definition becomes clear: taxation without representation. You have elected ‘representatives’ in name, but it isn’t YOU they’re representing. I believe it was Lenin who said that democracy only gives the illusion of choice: the real decision making is done in the smoke filled closets behind the visible Halls of Power. How pathetic is it that, in America, we can find more truth in the prophecies and observations of Marx and Lenin than Bush, Cheney, or Clinton? I’ll add Obama to that list in about a year, don’t worry.
One final thought. If you REALLY want to see your value as a human being beyond the definition “Human Capital”, suck it up and take a walk to a homeless shelter. To the prisons. To any street corner in any city. Go chat with my friend Pat in San Luis Obispo. Have a conversation with an elderly person in an Assisted Living Prison. That is the true estimation, at its base level, of how you are viewed as a human being in this culture; in this ‘system’. Your human worth is equal to the capital you produce, then spend, then produce: consume.
That is the answer to “Todd, why do you hate the system so much?” My last (supposedly progressive Santa Fe) radio boss asked me that question. He asked me too late to get the ladder climber answer he sought. I had already figured out that money does not define me, will not turn me into a whore. Ever. I was fired within a month.
The fact that I laughed when I heard "it's not working out" sent "Skippy" reeling. I'll never forget the look of bewilderment caused by actually seeing someone happy about being fired! It was as though he was seeing a creature from Mars stepping out of the Mothership; something a simple product of capitalism cannot possibly comprehend. I was supposed to be crushed, right? He'd just taken all my money away! What he did, in fact, was give me my life back by doing the hard part for me: forcing me to break the chains of monetary dependency and materialism. He also freed me from the absurd duty of feeding his pet pig.
“On bended knee is no way to be free…”
***END RANT*** brought to you by Carl’s Jr.
This was an intense day that broke me out of my mini-funk. I also noticed that the same intensity, quickening anger, recurred while I was having this discussion! Normally I am quite calm when I’m sober and have these conversations with people I agree with. I was anything but calm this day however. I noticed my language changing. My tone, which normally is even keeled, was full of disgust and disdain. My voice steadily got louder to the point of shouting. Like with Hippie McDouche, I had tapped into something. I was beginning to, perhaps, actually find a few splinters.
As is usually the case, my disgust had enough venom to go around. It wasn’t just directed at the system and predatory capitalists, but also at the left. It’s a special kind of hate I have for THESE sheep. So special in fact, that it deserves its very own special rant.
The rest of the day was uneventful. Friar Chris and I came to the conclusion that sitting at Barracudas every night ran counter to both of our best interests so we decided on conversation and a couple of games of Risk instead.
Travel stories and the occasional rantings of an evolving cynic who's simply in search of a little human authenticity. Tales include hitching across the Rockies with an eventual cop-killer, a weekend with a terminally-ill billionaire, meeting my siblings for the first time, trips to Mexico, and scores of random people from Mass.-Slab City-Chiapas who are often even more interesting...for better or worse!
"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan