13 November 2008

Brother, can you spare a dime?

Each day in the media the tales of destitution and woe are parlayed to us in increasingly somber and ominous tones. Little is it anticipated that this is merely the vanguard of the mass impoverishment yet to come.

The jobs are evaporating, with nothing taking their place except emaciated idleness and the coming of the bill collector and repo man. A repeat of the 1930s is taking place as desperate folk take to the road with their meager possessions to find work - any work, anything to stave off apparent starvation.

Just the other day, a lean, hungry looking gentleman came to my very door asking if I would be so kind as to let him do some yardwork for a few dollars in order to feed his family. Regrettably, this was not my decision to make as the yard here does not belong to me, so I had to turn him away. But I honestly feel his pain. I have been there before.

I feel that something here is patently unfair. How is it that these hardworking, productive people are having their feet held to the fire when ignorant, lazy old me has yet to feel any sort of economic effect from the ensuing chaos?

Not that I wish to be placed in a desperate situation. Hardly. But the laws of fate are surely whacked nowabouts. I seem to have a knack for prospering in bad times and flailing in good.

Back in the not so distant past when I was broke and starving, the economy was booming. Nobody had much sympathy for us folks then. The standard line was to direct us either to the day labor or welfare office. Privileged dickheads, above all things, lack any sense of empathy whatsoever.

Perhaps this crisis will teach the dickhead class some long-needed humility. Perhaps they will begin to realize that society is people, and not the ephemeral "stuff" or fat bank balances that vanish when the credit stream runs dry. Perhaps they will not be so inclined to flinch from the Other when they are in the exact same boat as their social "inferiors." With the increasing spread of poverty, destitution, and starvation among even the former privileged classes, perhaps the social camaraderie that this culture once possessed as a legacy of shared hardships (depression, war, et al.), but which has long since evaporated in the stream of easy fiat credit and dickhead posturing, will return in some form or fashion. I can only hope.

But you cannot teach the dickhead anything, I fear. If there comes another prosperous period (and it is looking increasingly unlikely in our lifetimes) then they will likely be at it again, discarding every moral value in the pursuit of gratuitous pleasure and elitist posturing.

But for the time being, except for those exhalted and powerful few with first dibs at the government bailout trough, the dickhead gravy train is over.

Welcome to hard times.

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