Thursday, April 5, 2012

And I Ask Myself, How Did I Get Here? -OR- Do We Owe Our Soul To the Company Store?

Rats in a maze? All you are is Rats in a maze?

Sure seems that way sometimes. When we stop to think on it at least. Whose idea was this?
Who came up with the game? Who came up with the rules? How have the rules been changed? When were the rules changed?
WHO changed them? Or are things the same as they ever were? Same as they've always been? Who arbitrates which rules apply to what and when they do or don't apply?

It seems to me that the things we should rightfully point to with pride, are things we did together. Sure, some people got rich along the way, but we accepted that as a tolerable cost to pay in the pursuit of happiness; towards a more perfect union. And sure, the rich have always needed to be shamed into doing the right thing, though now they seem to have developed an unhealthy shame-resistance that might even be deemed short-sightedly arrogant, but REALLY? They keep the Gold Mine, we get the shaft?

So what happened? Could the Mayans' ominous prediction of a planetary flip-flop have been more metaphorical than scientific? We're talking pre-Columbian Mesoamerican timekeeping here. Without benefit of leap years and accounting for other variables, mightn't the date for this phenomena been off by a mere 30-50 years? Isn't that well within the margin of error for projections spanning seven or eight millennium? Did they simply see the apocalypse as a societal occurrence wherein Up was Down, Good was Bad, War was Peace and Pizza was a vegetable??? Welcome to Opposite World.
Crab a chair, set a spell... See the game as it is.

The signs of opposite world are everywhere. This guy used to be the symbol of conniving sloth attached to shiftless and lazy ne'er do wells. Now he's the poster-dude for the Gordon Gekko set. Yeah, okay, a little thin, but what did you expect. When I saw this Crazy Train leaving the Ronald Wilson Reagan Memorial Roundhouse, I withdrew a sensible philosophical distance to watch the madness unfold. Outside; looking IN. Now that Wimpy's the character most like the ruling class, it's only a matter of time before he gets his inevitable comeuppance. Probably not today, maybe not even tomorrow, but it's undoubtedly nearing the tipping point. The incongruity, just like the Dude, cannot abide.

While I admit that this approach will likely come back to bite me in the ass, the hide back there is thick with experience, so I'm not too worried. That too shall pass. I have some skills. They were once even marketable. Except for job related minor injuries over the years, I've not over-burdened the health care system. My entanglements are few, my needs are small. I have some and I'm prepared to do with even less. Frugal? Short-sighted? Poor planning? That I have not amassed a medium-sized fortune to perpetuate a certain, approved lifestyle? Yeah, that too.

I feel good. Much better than I look to some. I take amusement from the sturm und drang that drives the masses. I don't fear much. I know the outside and it's a relatively comfortable environment. I risk. I scoff at those who think the future can be bought, or that their place in it is a sure thing. Odds are much higher that you are one of us. If not today, then soon. The excluded. You think it won't happen to you? Because you're playing by the rules? Whose rules? Do you have them in writing? Are they worth the paper on which they're written? Really? Have you not read much history?

"Don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."


Cirze said...

I'm with you, sweetie pie.

And Bob.

Always and forever.

Waiting for the judgment day . . . .

Dennly Smith said...

True enough. I think the new study out this week from MIT predicting a global economic collapse sometime between now and 2030 will re-create a level playing field, whether anyone likes it or not. (incidentally: their collapse prediction is predicated on supercomputers arriving at the conclusion that the world economies are not bases on sustainability--something we've preached too long).
Stay well.

amber ladeira said...

Agree with your two commenters here, and with you. My modest lifestyle hasn't defeated me, either.

"...One fist of iron, the other of steeeel-- if the right one done a' getya, then the left one wiiil". This type of music was the only available fare over the San Antone and Austin airwaves back in the day (-50s-'60s).
Interesting to note that this part of the song applies to "The Man" as WELL as to the downtrodden worker.

About "obeying the 'rules'": I can't tell you how many sad stories I've read by folks who did all the right things, staying out of legal trouble and finishing college, only to nurse bitter regret when failing to attain the house, the spouse, the car, travel afar, etc. It might help them to understand that the economy/marketplace has always had vicissitudes; it might be easier to take if they can lose that exclusively material
focus/goal orientation.

But you know all this.
Best to you and yours.

Yastreblyansky said...

Wimpy as the representative of self-destructive bourgeoisie? That's pretty magnificent. (I'd have gone for Mr. Magoo, too obvious.)

Anonymous said...

congrats, for sure. great piece.