Monday, August 30, 2010

A Few Thoughts: July 10, 2003

Here’s a few thoughts for you.  Ain’t life a bitch.  Just when you think you’ve been kicked to the dirt you find yourself at the edge of a cliff.  Pain and misery is so relative.  I’ve had days where it’s hard to find two pennies to rub together, but I can write a credit card check to put off the pain for some other day.  I see people who are really hurting, and it tends to make me both angry and guilty at the same time.  I don’t have real problems, but I swear some days just trying to open the refrigerator without some major catastrophe is like trying to ass fuck the pope.  Why?  Why is it that such little things seem like such mountainous problems.  The straw that broke the camel’s back is the analogy that rings true for so many people that live in such a pressured society.  Sure, spilled milk is no reason to fly off the handle, but what preceded the tipped glass?  Just like there are no singular causes in society, there is an environment in which all actions/experiences are embedded.  Some people, and I am one of them, that piles all of the decades of injustice into my emotional baggage to savor it for some future point.  Thus, when the fourteenth infinitesimal assault on my patience occurs, I tend to top it off with the context that it is in.  There are so many examples that I can think of where some simple shit has sent me over the top.  For some strange reason, I used to tie football to global struggles between good and evil.  Each game was a contest between people that latched themselves to the flavor of the week and the poor sons-a-bitches like myself that were pathetic enough to maintain allegiance to our chosen team.  This is silly and innocuous, but with a number of cheap beers in you, it’s easy to find importance in such strange places.  Shallow fuckers tend to move from successful team to successful team, and funding/prestige had a lot to do with the ability to bring teams together (since the salary cap, things have evened up, but now, underdogs (Packers - Rams) are scorned the year after winning the superbowl).  On a more serious side, I find the lack of money a general problem, a constant malaise that is heightened at different points in time.  I’ve always been poor, not hungry or homeless and I have never wanted for necessities.  Right now, I am damn sick and tired of living check to check to credit card check.  It’s been years since I have been able to afford an enclosed mode of individualized transportation.   Simple fucking things like meeting someone or picking up something at the store become a complete fucking adventure.  Once, I gave a student a ride on my motorcycle in the pouring rain on a dark country road to see Howard Zinn speak at a college 45 miles away.  We both emptied our boots when we got back.  Transportation is one thing that is entirely embedded within the societal context of compensation and community.  Given the sad state of public transportation in the US, people without funds are forced to do with the pathetic state of domestic personal transportation.  If you have to get somewhere, you are more than likely “nickle and dimed” to death by the fuckin’ cheap piece of shit we are forced to talk nice to just to get the damn thing to start on a blustery day.  Thus, when we hop in our sheet metal and plastic death traps and the fuckin thing craps out in the middle of nowhere, it is not just the fact that the planned obsolescence of the alternator left us freezing our fucking knuckles off gripping 5 degree below tools as we wrestle the sad-ass joke for planned engineering off out of cavity meant to fit a gnat’s ass.  It is the goddamn entirety of poverty living that doesn’t allow some poor son-of-a-bitch like myself to afford a decent (if not “foreign”) car.  And I am a white-collar desk jockey living off the public teet.  I really do not even have to work to earn what little I get.

But we must all carry our burdens.  Pain is relative.  We all feel like what we are experiencing is worse than most.  We delude ourselves in order to give meaning to our pain.  In some ways, pain becomes a badge of honor - we overcame some hurdle that no one else has experienced.  I’ve gotten to the point where not only do I seek out persecution, but I begin to define the actions of others as a direct assault.  Pain and misery are easy emotions to grab ahold of in dark times.  We are all caught in the everyday.  I have fought for what I have thought were the oppressed, because I was there at the time.  I fought tooth and nail to make things better, but once I left, it was as if I was never there.  Not only do people not recognize your contribution, they detest your input in the process.  The wisdom of years of experience not only goes unused, but they are openly contradicted.  The only real conciliation is that only when they act as I had instructed does the “organization” improve, but it still does not mean that they listen, or act in ways that I see as transparent or democratic.  Sometimes, I wonder if the fucking ass-slepping cock-suckers that “own” this fucking planet feel the same way.  I know that tree-huggers, activists, informed people and the light of day are a fucking pain in the ass for these people, but how much are they really bothered?  In the bygone era, they had the Pinkerton’s to enforce their misery.  Now, they hire professional armies if the complete domination of the press is ineffective.  Once a friend of mine had told me about a dinner with a number of wealthy elites.  He commented that they were nice people, and I replied that they can afford to be nice.  I am fairly unpleasant to be around a good chunk of the time because I am seriously disturbed by the way the world is.  I can be disagreeable because I just spent the last 72 hours attempting to install the latest version of some fuckin’ bloated pig’s software on my computer.  Sure, computers are complex systems, but for fuck’s sake, stop fucking “revolutionizing” the fucking sector every six months.

Ahh, what petty fucking crap.  Get over it.  I totally agree.  I hate being weak and not dealing with the issues that confront you, but sometimes, the mountain of crap that assails people makes the simplest problems the easiest ones to both bitch about and deal with.  What the fuck can any of us do about the sad state of the economy?  Unemployment, underemployment and shitty fucking pay are out of our control to a large degree.  There are the jackasses that argue we should invest in our education and skills to “earn” better wages and secure better employment.  What this ignores is the fact that the cocksuckers running the show have thrown us out on the street in order to cut inflation, boost stockholder confidence or “cool” the economy.  Capitalism cannot tolerate 100% employment, so don’t tell me poverty and unemployment are the fault of the victims of this inhuman system.

What this fucking system breeds is people that have the life sucked out of them and others that are sick and tired.  The problems that we are facing now are when the two come together - pissed off suicidal mother fuckers.  Ain’t nothin’ as dangerous as someone who is pissed off, but doesn’t give a fuck.  Bureaucracy generally and capitalism more specifically breeds this kind of feeling.  By taking away people’s ability to provide for themselves, it breeds despair, but the constant insult of opulent wealth, and intentional degradation of the working people generates animosity.  What is fairly interesting, but not surprising, is the number of well-off or extremely wealthy individuals who profit from these feelings.  They chatter on about the sacrifices of the working class, while at the same time they brutally enforce their sick caste privilege.

My graduate program has gradually descended.  It has been a fairly interesting process.  I was successful for a time in fighting for the rights of, what I thought were, the oppressed.  My upward struggle culminated in fighting off a university attack on worker health care.  Soon after, my downward spiral began.  The union fell into inept hands, the parent organization so disorganized it used me as a scapegoat, and an attempt to support a fellow grad failed because of the bureaucratic inertia of the university and the ignorance of union officials.  The utter unfathomable quagmire of departmental politics surrounding graduate student issues was only exacerbated by the comprehensive exam delay created by my own lack of clarity and strength to determine its direction.  I have finally thrown up my hands.  I could give a shit less what happens from this point on.  Academia is absolute crap from the inside out.  The university portends to be an institute of higher learning, but succumbs to the ignorance and racism of its contributing plebiscite, leading to a facility relegated to its position as a glorified technical school.  Learning is the unintended if ever achieved consequence of a system oriented around the continued access of funding both for the university as a whole, and its constituent parts.

I recall a story, its origin lost in the fog, of a psychology experiment where the survival capacity of rats was observed.  For one group, the rats were held tightly until they stopped struggling against the researcher’s grip.  They were then tossed into a pool where they were allow to swim futilely until they drowned.  The second group of rats was simply tossed into the pool without the prior iron grip of the researcher.  Not surprisingly enough, the rats that were constrained stopped swimming and drowned much sooner than their counterparts.

University education, and capitalist life process in general, is the process of suffocating people until they relinquish themselves to their fate.  It is much better to have docile, fatalistic drones than struggling serfs who may live long enough to unseat the king.  Their strategy has to this point proved quite effective.  We only have to look so far as the music industry to see how many dreamers and rebels who have succumb to the despair of success and failure against society and the music establishment.  In the world of public protest, the lack of despair is met with a harsh response.  Within the Civil Rights Movement, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Fred Hampton were all murdered for attempting to ameliorate the ills of capitalist society.  Malcolm was killed for offering an alternative that stepped outside of the bounds.  Martin lost his life when his dream began to look as though it may become a reality. Fred simply was killed for providing kids with the nutrition they needed to be an active part of the pathetically inadequate education system.  God forbid your attempt to swim a little longer.  If you don’t put a gun to your own head, the US government, or it some righteous fuck, will gladly do it for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment