Monday, June 23, 2008

American Reality?

So if I’m standing and line at a bank or some store and I want to bitch about the price of a 50 pound sack of corn chops to feed the chickens with, where am I if all I can expect to get is a blank stare? Must be an urban area, right? Rats and pigeons, yappy dogs and a stray cat or two staring as the local fauna. And it must be rural if the guy you’re talking to hooks his thumbs in the overall straps and says “ayup, seven twenty a bushel”. What do you call a place where you get the stare and the county population is smaller than the nearest “city” in the next county?

I’m going to call it a welfare backwater. Middle of nowhere, no factories or manufacturing to speak of, and nobody is running a shovel except one out of 642 on the road crew. The video stores do alright, quickie marts abound, the walmart is full of shoppers and the dog groomer is open for business. I also am beginning to believe this is the real America. Get on any two lane state highway and spend an afternoon traveling in a random direction and that’s what you’ll see - town after town of a whole bunch of nothing but village centers empty of anything but gas stations, banks and video stores. On the way out of town the glitz of the new walmart/lowes complex arises like the Emerald City - surely I’m not the only one who wonders what powers and feeds this behemoth.

Must be a lawyer or something in town who pays fifty grand in taxes. Our magical financial system can leverage and default swap that shit into a good million or so to fill up food stamp cards and propane tanks for the households that operate on income “derived” from gov’t grants like matching highway funds, social work, education, emergency room medicaid, and the bad back disability check. It sure as hell isn’t from the joebobs selling cheeseburgers to each other - the only yield on that “swap” is a couple more inches around the middle. It’s just a wonder, that’s all - how some burg as a whole spends a dollar while creating a nickel’s worth of wealth and the population doesn’t even know that’s happening. I think that 95 cents may be coming due.

Same blank stare when the sheriff comes to evict. Unpayable mechanic’s lein on the car. Unfathomable balances on the last chance threat letter from finance company. Food stamp card running out by the 17th of the month. Do you know horror? Ever watched the burner go off - stare out the window at an empty propane tank through swirling snowflakes. It won’t take much to make the the real America a really uncomfortable place to be.

I have the luxury of waltzing out past the courtyard into my woods with my chainsaw and 50 cents worth of gasoline later I have a week’s wood all cut up ready to haul to the woodpile. It’s just sheer luck of the draw that there is a big ass Amish Pioneer Maid wood cookstove for that firewood to go into, right? Sheer dumb luck… Kinda the same mechanics in action that leaves me unbeholden to a mortgage company. Or GMAC, Citibank, Chase and the rest of the gang. Perhaps it’s because i never had to play gladiator in the child support forum. Yeah, that’s got to be it.

I’m verging on being, shall we say, uncompassionate so’s I’d better wrap this up. Suffice to say that “it’s” coming down the pike, and not that I’m unconcerned about what’s coming, I won’t be caught with my pants down.

Source - ComradeSimba


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