By David Glenn Cox
It was Mother Theresa who said it, so forgive me. But it’s the broken crock rule, even an old broken crock can be right sometimes. When she observed that American poverty was different and unique in the world. That in the third world, poverty was everywhere. While in the United States poverty is isolated, wealth is everywhere and abundant. All you need do is work hard, and you keep your nose to the grindstone Bob Cratchet, and you’ll be alright.
There’s not a center of urban poor anywhere in the country where someone says. “Hey look everybody, they’re building a new car factory down the street and looking for tons of new workers at Union wages!” Whole swathes of the landscape are penciled off the map. Let’s go looking for a job Appalachia, shall we? Did you attend school? (Both years?) Then you might be good candidate for our Convenience store management or diner waitress, junior executive training program.
It costs about $2,000 a month to live around here, and the job pays $1,500 plus tips. Stone walls do not a prison make. A poor education is a prison sentence in itself. To find education boring or negative because of the lousy way it’s served up to you. In the good schools there is always labs and shop projects, band, and such. But in most high schools there’s a lot of sit down, shut up and take notes. “I don’t want to hear any shit out of you.” You wouldn’t like pizza either, if you had to eat it frozen, stale or burnt.
Building 21st Century cave palaces and personal pleasure units with big screen TVs and Dolby stereo. Air conditioning with a security system to protect it all. Cameras and remote starting cars with garage door openers. The sovereign country of Yourselfstan, behind locked gates to protect you from …them. Because you got what you got by working hard (and getting lucky) They don’t want to work them! They’re bad! Like Charlton Heston movie bad. Everybody gotta work hard, the bible says so.
Them, you know who they are. They come in all forms and colors, but they’re just no good. But why are they no good? Are they no good from birth? Because God doesn’t make any junk. If it’s their environment causing the trouble, what then can be done? If you live in a society of human failure with a lack of opportunity, pretty soon, you get the feeling you’re gonna fail too. So, why bother?
I watched a video of a bus trip from Brighton to Eastbourne on a coach, as they say in England. I’ve heard a lot about Brighton from rock and roll songs, but doubt I’ll ever get a chance to visit. Yes, all is excitement riding on the Dave train.
But watching this video, I was surprised. Where is your graffiti? Where are all your gang symbols? Where are your defaced Bus stops? Why is there no trash on the street and what have you done with your homeless? Not a single boarded up building billboards, or broken glass, “See Nate Collier! Your All State Insurance agent.” A chance to see your country through some else’s country. “McDonalds 2 Miles ahead!”
A society with limited contact with each other, I’ll text you. A conversation of “Thank you” and then you leave the store. It’s okay, the clerk doesn’t want to speak with you anyway either. Fuck you very much! Next! Now add in a parent or one. A parent that’s willing to negotiate with a child for their love. Maybe a child with a parent substance abusing and becoming violent. But why in a nation of wealth and comfort is there so much unhappiness? I don’t know, maybe a sense never-ending grinding poverty, isolation, and futility perhaps?
Taught and raised from childhood that’s it’s all futile anyway and they learn to hate the world. Because the world put them in this spot. And the world says it’s all their own fault anyway. The world made them awkward and ugly, and the girls don’t like them much.
But that all can be rectified with gun. With a gun they’re cool like Rambo or Rocket man! All the movies have guns and explosions and songs about popping a cap in someone’s ass, drinking forties, and showing off my money! Yes sir, it’s the pinnacle of 21st Century civilization, and ain’t we so proud to show it off!
Nothing but a monster factory, but I’ll just press a button and the tinted window on the Mercedes will go up and make it all go away. I’ll shop in the other direction to avoid them. A cleverly disguised Capitalist plot, “We can blame the homeless and the broken people on themselves! You see, it’s not a broken society. It’s a perfect society made up of broken individuals, who just don’t measure up.
If you give all the profits to the rich, so Jeff Bezos can build a Dickmobile. Then he can offer jobs at $15.00 an hour. But the employees don’t earn enough to support themselves, while killing themselves. But they do offer Free paper bags to shit in.
Employees not earning enough to be taxed enough to solve society’s problems, and so society corrodes. And another tent goes up on the sidewalk. Look at all these hundreds of thousands of failed individuals from coast to coast, in this perfect society of ours. Can you believe it? That such a successful society could create so many bums and low life’s?
They kill our children because it’s the worst thing they can think of to kill, to vent their rage. Against a faceless computerized electronic world, they feel locked out of. Mental illness is different from say, kidney disease. In that, one illness resides is in the brain and the other is in the kidney. See, the difference? So, most insurance companies don’t like to cover brain sicknesses. And if you don’t have insurance, you might as well just buy the kid the gun, and wait for the phone call.
It’s the kid and not the gun, it’s the kid with the gun. There’s something wrong with the kid. Something wrong with a Kyle grabbing a gun running where he doesn’t belong with a gun. “There’s something very wrong with this picture.” No differently, than if Kyle had chased a fire truck trying to set up his own fire hose to be a fireman hero. Trying get noticed in a world doesn’t see chubby little boys much. Little boys who want to act like soldiers but don’t want to be soldiers, because it’s too much work and besides, mom can’t come along.
Lazy addled parents who don’t see the kid much either, probably exhausted from over work and under paid. “He’s fine, Junior just likes to electrocute things when he gets bored.” Either not there or don’t care. Kids are just like tomatoes; you just plant them, and they grow huh? “Now hush, mommas watching her shows! If you’ll be quiet, I’ll buy you the rifle for your birthday.”
It would appear the capital at the top of society is crushing the society below, which feeds and supports it. Investment grade wastelands among the gated communities. Discount health insurance offering high deductibles you couldn’t afford anyway, with no mental health coverage. You see, the brain is different. Kidneys would never pull a gun on you.
My mother used to say, (She always used to say that) “that good jobs make good neighborhoods and good neighborhoods, make good communities” and so on and so forth. Dickmobile rides versus angry fucked up kids with guns. You decide.
“We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, we now know that it is bad economics.” ― Franklin Delano Roosevelt
“I venture the challenging statement that if American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, fascism will grow in strength in our land.”― Franklin D. Roosevelt
Disneyland is not “the happiest place in the world” if you have to work there. Been there, done that. Once the “Pixie dust” is off, it’s just Maggie’s farm all over again.
I always thought it was funny. In Ireland your Mickey is your dick. “Who’s the leader of the club that made for you and me, Dick Mouse, Dick Mouse, Dick Mouse.