While taking down the tree, I thought about why the 2019 holidays didn't seem festive. Here's my conclusion, written as a post-holiday carol that riffs on "Silver Bells."
City sidewalks, shitty sidewalks
It's no better to drive
In the air, there's stink from car emissions
Selling plasma, kids with asthma
Working way, way past five
All around this great nation you'll see
Road-side tents, *Old RV's
Christmas trees in their tarped windows
Endless war, more ODs
But the economy's great!
Cuts to food stamps, Send- 'Em-Back! chants
Drinking water with lead
In the air, record carbon dioxide
Kids in cages, piss-poor wages
Can't keep families fed**
More reports of spikes in suicide
But you'll find fulfillment
Center work if you are lucky
No pee breaks, no week-ends
Just grueling work and Depends***
*There should be something like a "Cry Me a River" (CMR) Act. CMR would enable homeless folks to use the D.C. offices of certain Congress members as overnight shelters. I refer to those members who veto funding for shelters and other taxpayer-funded "handouts," whine about how they can't afford D.C. rent (on $174,000-$192,000/year), and use their offices as de facto apartments (i.e., taxpayer-funded housing handouts).
** Hundreds of people (and lawyers, in case folks get arrested) could show up outside of the fundraising dinners of candidates for public office who advocate cuts to food assistance (e.g., SNAP). They hand arriving dinner guests empty to-go containers on which is written: "Please help us eat tonight: After dinner, get your uneaten steak/lobster/other to-go. On your way out, while waiting for the valet to bring your car, just leave it under the sign that says, 'Let Them Eat Leftovers - the new SNAP.' Thank you!"
***I wonder if labor rights groups could walk up and down the sidewalks in front of the worker entrances of Amazon fulfillment centers and hand out Depends.