Thursday, April 22, 2010

sorry I suck at this

The "I Am An A Modern American Slave" post is amazing.

I would like to propose an idea...
I have heard of and, somewhat, experienced a lot of bullshit from our current social environment. I initially thought that blogging about it would help me figure out what I should do. A slight modification?...

There are currently two major political parties, Repub and Demo. There is also the Independent party rising up with the help of, such as, Ron Paul and Alex Jones. That's pretty cool (It's a more honest constitutional based party).
Over the Easter holidays Jess made mention of our countries conception being a little bit over slightly fucked up. It may have been an improvement  for the time, but not good enough for an idealist. That's my proposal. I would like to start a new party. Everyone's invited. The Idealist party.
The idea is that instead of trying to figure out a way of fixing the clusterfuck of our current system. We start with ideals and work backwards. On any and every topic.
I think we should post what we know is wrong with our society and then create an ideal for that situation.
It's goddamn science! Right!


There's a lot more I want to say about this, but I suck at writing things and stuff. (It's hard for me to gather my thoughts without multiple edits) (I've been working on this for over an hour.) I'm golden at discussion, however, so please respond.

I Am a Modern Day American Slave

I am a modern day American slave. My servitude takes on the particular form of the wage slave, in which I spend a significant portion of my time and energy doing tasks that, at best, bore me and at worse, grow a leaden lump of dread in my belly. In exchange, I am given small slips of paper. As a wage slave, I often find myself in the peculiar situation of having to apologize for being human. "I'm sorry I can't keep up a production output of 500 pph for four hours straight with no break. I'm really sick today." My human frailties are grudgingly accepted and the hours or days I lose to illness are, of course, unpaid. And I actually have a good job. I make above the minimum wage, get paid holidays and vacation time and full health coverage. I'm one of the lucky ones. As the years have gone by though, I have become less and less willing to sacrifice the things I really value-my time, health, sanity, interests, friends and family-for something as meaningless as money. The cost is too high. And so, when given the choice between what I care about or making more money, I tend to choose what I care about. This has precipitated me into another form of modern day American slavery. Poverty.

I have become one of the working poor. Despite spending over 40 hours a week on work or work related activities (commuting), I barely make enough to get by. It's a slow slide at first. You take a few hits. It knocks you back and you find you can never quite recover. It snowballs from there. I've certainly made some financial mistakes that have accelerated things considerably but I don't have a problem with that. I learn from my mistakes. But as a poor person, I pay for my mistakes with interest. Bloodsucking, usurious interest. And no bailout for my broke ass either.

And I still consider myself one of the lucky ones. I've never gone hungry, though I have at times gotten my food expenditures down to 25 bucks a week (I'm up to a fat 40 now). I've never had to let my lights get turned off so I can pay rent because my check doesn't come in for another week and then have to pay the exorbitant fee to get the lights back on and all the late fees which puts me back even further until I can't pay the lights or the rent and I'm being evicted. No. I'm still able to pay all my bills. It takes a lot of planning, ingenuity, prioritizing and some ruthless cutbacks but I still scrape by each month. But that's almost all I can do. Pay my bills and buy food and splurge on occasion. But most everything else is out of my budget. And in a society that has become increasingly privatized, where there is hardly anything left that has not been commodified,  I find myself excluded from most human activity. I sit on the bus and look out at a world that has been closed off to me because I can't pay the price to get in. I walk in the park I live by. That's free. I get books from the library. It's still free to read. That's about it. I used to spend time with my partner. That was free. But the state took him from me and locked him away and now they charge me through the nose to spend minutes talking to him. My lover has been commodified and time with him is something else I have to pay for, something else I can't afford.

I am a modern day American slave and America is a cruel, cold and brutal master.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


So, I've been frustrated with news media and politicians since I can first remember hearing them open their mouths (fear mongering assholes). I also, however, get a little frustrated hearing intelligent people who are good friends, honest, decent people, speak as if such propaganda is fact. I then wonder if I am doing the same thing with my beliefs. I then decide that, no, everybody else is wrong and I'm right or else I wouldn't believe it. I also decide that I must question information given to me more thoroughly before accepting it as an absolute. I then decide that I have no authority to decide absolute.

How We Carry Ourselves

         To Others in Prisons
by Jimmy Santiago Baca

  I am the broken reed in this deathly organ,
  I am those mad glazed eyes staring from bars,
  the silent stone look
that knows like other stones the smell of working feet,
knows how long and wide a human can spread
over centuries,
                        each step, until we now step on dust
                        and rock of prisons.

                        I could not throw my feelings away,
                        shoot them like wild horses,
                        stone them like weeping dirty prophets,
                        could not machete them pioneering a new path,
                        I sought no mountain, no brave deed,
I sought to remain human, to look and feel wind bless me. . . .

                        Chicanos, Blacks, Whites, Indians,
                        we are all here, our blood all red,
                        we are all filled with endurance
                        and have tasted the blade,
                        smelled the gun's oily smoke of death.

                        We are steel hunks of gears and frayed ropes,
                        our hands the toolsheds,
                        our heads the incessant groan
                        of never ending revolving wheels
                        in an empty, gaunt warehouse,
                        our blood dripping from steel joints
                        like grease and oil onto granite floors.

I meant to say, you can turn away from this:
                        if you can take the hammering, they will give,
                        if you can hold on while they grip you
                        and hurl you ragefully at the ground,
                        if you can bite your teeth when they bend you,
                        and still, you do not fit,
                        you can be who you are.

You can see the morning and breathe in God's grace,
                        you can laugh at sparrows, and find love
                        in yourself for the sun, you can learn
                        what is inside you, you can know silence,
                        you can look at the dark gray machine around you,
                        souls going up like billows of black smoke,
                        and decide what you will do next,
                        you who are the main switch, who turns
                        everything off.
But you breathing, smiling, struggling,
turning yourself on. . . . . .

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Modern American Slave

What makes a slave? Lack of freedom. Inability to dictate one's own life. That about sums it up for me. In our modern American society we've allowed ourselves to be shackled into the 9 to 5 mentality. We've given up fresh air for cubes. We've given up independence for the ability to pay the bills. We've let ourselves be convinced that working for someone else is the way it has to be. But is that the truth?