I did something foolish and now I am both paying for it and profiting by it. I had told myself three years ago when my marriage failed that I would never again become involved with another woman, ever, ever again. I held my fist in the air and like Scarlet O'Hara I vowed, never again. Like a fool, I let my head be turned by a pretty face, the eternal optimist in me who could still believe that love conquers all, when actually, it doesn't.
All that matters is money, so I shot my bolt and found myself a little worse for wear and tear. All of those old feelings came back and I was reminded again of why I had taken this simple vow in the first place. Yet three years has also taught me that being alone was an unnatural state of affairs as well. I was lonely and looking for companionship and so I made yet another mistake, I placed a personal ad.
I'll leave off the gory details of the spam and porn which I received and go right to the heart of the matter. The whores and harlots were quick to tell me in graphic detail all that they would do for me sexually and yet the one word that was not mentioned was money. They were putting out the bait while waiting for the sucker to take the hook, while conversely the genuine replies where just as quick to tell me just the opposite. "You sound like a nice guy but I don't need any broke boyfriends."
What of walks in the park and trying to find a nice guy and all the other falderal one reads in these personal ads? It is easy to become cynical or worse, that dating has become no more than a mercantile exchange. Strange though, that money was of such small importance in my ad. I was only looking for someone to spend time with, have a few laughs and break up the dull days. What a strange and lonely world we inhabit, that we can become so isolated and fixated on money.
I was painting a room yesterday and National Propaganda Radio was and they were telling me how good the black Friday Christmas sales were last week. They claimed they were just wonderful, up five percent over last year. Of course prices are up at least three percent over last year and lest we forget 2010 was one of the worst Christmas seasons on record, and deep black Friday discounts mean lower profit margins for retailers. It was a story about money, it was a story which was trying to convince their listeners that everything is really all right.
Only casually was it mentioned that we still have nine percent unemployment but even that was inaccurate, we have 16.2 percent unemployment and home prices are still falling. One of the talking heads repeated the grand lie that our economy is emerging from recession, then she mentioned that deep discounts will make it more difficult for retailers to raise wages. I almost fell off of the ladder, as if any retailers in this country are somehow benevolently considering wages increases. Wages are falling in this country while the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation and the average worker takes a ten percent wage cut every five years.
American Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday, aiming to wring concessions out of their workers. How do I know this, because I read an article on Bloomberg where management argued two weeks ago that if it could not get the wage concessions they wanted from its unions it would simply file for bankruptcy, so now they have. A fine kettle of fish, if management cannot get what it wants, they drive the company into the ground and then use the courts to get their desires fulfilled, this is the essence of corporate Fascism.
I took a bus trip over the Thanksgiving holiday and though I bought my ticket from Greyhound, I traveled on Jefferson bus lines. Two of the drivers in particular were surly to the point and beyond the point of rudeness. These were non-union drivers and their attitudes could only be attributed to one of two causes. Either these drivers were so maltreated and underpaid that they no longer gave a tinker's damn about keeping their job, or wages and standards were so low at this company that they would hire just about anyone and don't care what type of service they provided.
So you might be asking yourself, what does getting my heart broken and then having insult added to injury have to do with surly bus drivers and the economy? The answer is simple, our economy is poisoned to the point of illness by money. Money is all pervasive and perverted, money rather than being the currency of commerce has become the reason for life itself. Everything from what you'll eat for breakfast down to who you will marry, is everyday more and more determined by money more than by any other factor.
NPR then had a roundtable discussion with several big city Chiefs of police, on police tactics in light of the Occupy movement. The Philadelphia police chief explained that they had to shut the occupation down because there were two assaults and issues of urination and defecation. Two assaults in a town known euphemistically as Killidelphia and a city which refuses to supply basic human services to its residents are the stated reasons given to use police power to end peaceful anti-government demonstrations.
Only the former Chief of police from Seattle spoke up against the heavy handed tactics of the police in New York and in California. The story quickly devolved into police being better trained now than in the past and that the few demonstrators who were arrested, just wanted to be arrested to make a political statement. No one from the Occupy movement was invited to speak, no one told their side of the story. You see, NPR relies on government subsidies to stay on the air. They can't or won't be allowed to do a story which reflects negatively on government actions.
NPR can't tell you that American Airlines is trying to use the courts for union busting or that civil protest is being squelched by a police state because of money. The recent firing of NPR host over her appearance at the Occupy movement clearly illustrates that point.
This had all been percolating inside of me for the past few days and last night as I walked the streets of this cold, cold city it came into focus. I have become detached from this society, my three years of homelessness and waywardness have made me an alien here. I despise its television and its radio, I no longer understand this society, nor do I want to understand it. I despise its commercialism and its crass phoniness. I'd prefer to be alone and exempt from this society than to buy into this sick dystopia of cash based affection. In George Orwell's novel "1984" love was criminalized in this twisted reality it is merchandised, same sickness, different reality.