A Government War
By David Glenn Cox
“It is my job to put forward a vision of the country that benefits the vast majority of Americans. It is my job to make sure that my party is behind those initiatives, even if sometimes it’s breakin’ some china and goin’ against some of the dogmas of our party in the past.” – Barack Obama
“Wait a minute buddy, you been doing some jack assing you can’t shut up now. He’s got a paper says they need eight hundred pickers, you laugh and say they don’t, who’s the liar?” – The Grapes of Wrath
I wear the clothes which I have been given; they are not the clothes I chose myself. I did not choose this odyssey; I simply ride these rails and report what I see along the way. I seek neither pity nor quarter, I seek only understanding. I am a revolutionary journalist speaking of the things which those in power would rather not speak of.
My name is John. I am 31 years old and live in XXXXXXXXXX. I have a wife and 3 small children that I am trying to provide for. I am not looking for exorbitant wages, I don’t want to get rich, I simply want to provide for my family as a man should. I am willing to work very hard and long hours for my wages.”
“Looking for one or two maybe three people. If you have a friend or two to bring it is even better. $10 cash an hour and you will be expected to show up around 6 am and hang out until 7 or 8 pm. You need to be smart, trustworthy and able to follow some simple directions. Also young (in your 20s) and somewhat clean cut (not a total bum) will help you get these spots.”
“THIS POSITION IS FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN GETTING TATTOOS/ WORKING IN EXCHANGE FOR TATTOO CREDIT.”
“I find it hard to keep up with some of my house cleaning. I live with my room mate and her son, so the cleaning would only be for areas/things specifically pertaining to me and my son. I would like someone to come once a week, for about an hour, to do various things. I will pay $15 to you in cash every week. I will specifiy each week what I need done, but here is what you can expect to be doing:
1-2 loads of laundry/folding
Deep cleaning bathroom
Wash and reassemble couch cushion covers
Tidy bedrooms/throw away any thing needed”
“Krissy has her 11 and 14 year old respectful boys about 8 days month.
You would get them ready and tdke them to school when needed.
You would clean, cook, do laundry, drive her to the airport for work and pick up as needed.
And other odd things on occasion, about 80 hours totsl of on calk service a month. Most of the time you would be Part of the family just hsving fun Salmon creek tributary in back yard, very nice neighborhood. Krissy Is gone 20 days out of the month, the house is all yours.”
Compensation: Beautiful master bedroom, all utilities paid snd food
I don’t know who I feel sorrier for, the person taking such a job out of a need to put walls between themselves and the street or a person who would offer only peonage while referring to themselves in the third person.
This is America; this is a government which ignores its people’s suffering and pretends it isn’t there. It pretends that we aren’t here, but we are.
I am sometimes overcome by the desire to run but there is nowhere to go. I am trapped in a country lost in narcissism, Capitalism and self gratification. I have applied for so many jobs that I have literally lost count, hundreds, thousands, ten thousand?
The other day I saw a Greek woman crying on a balcony and threatening to jump. She would soon be unemployed due to the Greek austerity plan, her husband also planned to commit suicide. I could feel the tears welling up inside of me; I’ve been on that balcony too. What sort of system is this that does such things to its own people?
Free? Oh please, what a load of bunk. You are free, the largest economic downturn in seventy years with millions out of work and tens of thousands homeless but we are free. No, the bankers and corporate raisers are free the rest of us are just trapped. Lost like a ball in the tall grass and blamed for the crisis in the process.
We are a sick society which is cutting itself out of self esteem issues. The idea that the banks were handed fourteen trillion dollars and made whole while millions of honest hard working Americans were backhanded revolts me, we already know how Mitt Romney’s dog must have felt, we are treated no better.
I have gone from newcomer to old veteran in these clothes and I make no apologies. I have visions of tribunals, of millions blocking the highways of this country out of rage and righteous anger,
“Don’t take no nerve to do somepin, when you ain’t got no choice.” – The Grapes of Wrath
I wonder what’s to become of us, I wonder why more men and women haven’t leapt from the balconies. It isn’t the poverty which strips you bare; it isn’t the lack of money in your pocket which breaks you down. It is the lack of security, the inability to plan because your life is literally up in the air somewhere between heaven and hell. And what’s more, I could write about it until the cows come home but if you’re not there you can ever understand it.
There is more to this picture than meets the eye, how do I tell you about what it feels like to have someone dispute how much money they owe you because they know that your are hungry? People like Krissy who see themselves as nice people when they are actually lower than a slug in a wagon rut. They see themselves as just trying to help when they are actually trying to take advantage of someone else’s need.
That is the issue we face…need, and how do we deal with that need. Is need a profit opportunity or is need something else, a problem to be solved humanely?
I am changed by this experience and whether this change is temporary or permanent I cannot yet say. There is a core to us all, we are millions and when I say I, I mean we. We are millions, millions who have been told that it is our own fault. We have been priced out of a job market against workers earning $25 per week. American cars are built in Mexico, Korean cars in Alabama and the only product we really produce anymore is poverty.
This year’s hope and change becomes more of the same and change is not to be seen on the horizon. Shame is unheard of, as Rick Santorum claims that prenatal care leads to more abortions. This is no less than absolute madness, a war on the Post Office and on public employees. A government war punishing workers, punishing families and pushing people over the edge, stealing their futures to save a few nickels.
There was an episode of the Twilight Zone once where there was this little boy who was a monster. This little boy had strange mental powers and was able to inflict pain and injury upon those who didn’t smile and pretend to be happy. This little boy had turned the world to hell on Earth for the adults. During a birthday party the guest of honor had too much to drink and encouraged the other adults to bash the little boy’s head in with a chair while he kept him busy. That’s how I feel sometimes; I want someone to bash this monster over the head.
“Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’.”- George Orwell