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photo by Sheri Dixon

Saturday, January 14, 2012

In All Fairness...

"All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others"
-Animal Farm.


"Life is not fair. The fair is where you go to see cows and eat corndogs"
-unknown (if you remember, please let me know so I can give credit)


Somewhere along the line, the core belief of "no man is an island, but this is the land of opportunity and fairness for all" in this country has given way to the mantra of "I've got mine, go fuck yourself".

I blame every idiot who waves their copy of Atlas Shrugged with as much vigor as their Holy Bible and their Constitutions- none of which they've read completely through, but depending on talking heads on the TV and at church to tell them what the hell's in there. *Bonus points if their church talk also comes from a talking head on TV.

I blame every idiot who sees (and idolizes) a "self-made man" who got that way by taking advantage of others and dodging the law (tax laws count, even though it only seems that way if it's poor people doing it by cleverly not making enough money to be taxed, damn their stealing souls) and calling it "admirable" and running to the defense of people who would light them on fire in a heartbeat just for yucks and giggles.

I've got a little clue for you- the CEO's of the huge corporations and banks do not need your protection. They bought all the politicians, supreme court justices, lawyers and security forces to do that. They're good. Really. Calm the hell down.

Now the really surprising part- you are not them. You will never be them. If you are reading this blog on your home computer and have a stack of ordinary bills like house payment, car payment, utility, insurance bills next to you and you've prayed even ONCE that there was enough in the bank to cover what's due, YOU'RE NOT THEM. The best part? It's ok. Get the hell over it.

Yanno what really chaps my hiney?

People who want to destroy the social safety net in this country in the name of "reducing the deficit" even though it's been shown time and again that it's not contributing a fucking nickel to the deficit.

OK, wait. Here's who I give a semi-pass to on that.

If you've been born wealthy, and your family has never needed assistance, if no one in your family or circle of friends has EVER ONCE needed to cash an unemployment check, or gone to the store with food stamps, or applied for disability or medicare or medicaid, if you've never ever signed your child up for CHIPS (low income health insurance), if no one in your family DEPENDS on their SS retirement check just to buy food and pay rent, who depends on the VA for their medical care even though their service was decades and decades ago, if you never needed to apply for grants and scholarships to attend college because your daddy could just write a check for it, then you are (partially) excused, because you don't get it.

Because if you've been so lucky, there's no way to connect with that.

There's no way to relate to the fear of having nothing "set aside for a rainy day" not because you blew it all on lottery tickets and beer, but because there have been so many rainy days in your life your feet are webbed.

Illness, job loss, even something as common and simple as having a car blow up or pipes burst in the house can plunge the average family into a spiral of Peter paying Paul with no way to catch up...at least not for a very long time.

For every person who's "playing the system" and "using their credit card at Starbucks" there are 1,000 who genuinely need help- and unless you are there you have no idea how easily that can happen randomly and out of the blue.

So you are excused for not knowing, but not for ignoring or for mocking.

Because that just makes you an asshole.

For anyone else- ANYONE who has personally reached for any of the above help when they've actually needed it to feed their families and care for their children, and who now try to shinny up close to the very rich and wear your Conservative flags and scream for tightening of the rules and elimination of the "waste" in the systems- "waste" that looks alot like your own family and friends-

Shame on you.

Shame on your hypocritical asses, and I swear to god if I see one more word out of any of you I am calling you out on it in front of god and in as public a manner as you are sneering at those less fortunate than you are (well, as you are NOW- precariously and probably temporarily- not because you're lazy or make bad decisions but because shit happens- GET IT???)

Show me one, just one self-made man.

Show me one person who was set out as a newborn (and not one of those spoiled babies born in a hospital, either- one who was born in the forest, surrounded by bears and shit), and not clothed or fed or cared for or given ANY HELP AT ALL who survived ALL ON THEIR OWN and is now
a) alive
b) not a raving lunatic
c) rich as all get-out

You can't, because it doesn't happen.

No one succeeds all on their own- in every single American Success Story there is one of 2 main ingredients-
-they were born with a buttload of money waiting in a trust fund for them
-someone already successful helped them

That's not Liberal-speak, it's the damn truth.

Making sure the weakest members of a society are cared for PROPERLY and with DIGNITY no matter how much money they have and ensuring that the young are educated FOR FREE THROUGH COLLEGE is not wasteful, the former is the very essence of being human in a society of humans and the latter is making sure our next generation is given all the tools necessary to succeed.

If we could depend on everyone to give of themselves freely when they could and that it would help those who really needed it that would be awesome.

But there are alot of people "at the top" who look at fellow humans as numbers and resources and figure they don't have to worry about them, and alot of people at the bottom who are invisible- living lives of literal quiet desperation without access to help, and that's where the whole dirty word of "fairness" comes in.

Fairness does not mean everyone plays no matter how bad an athlete you are and everyone gets an A just for showing up. That's bullshit spin used to whip good people into a frenzy and to make them suspicious of their neighbors, who will supposedly "take away FROM YOU what they don't deserve and everyone will be poor".

Fairness means that the kid whose dad bought all the uniforms doesn't get to play every inning even though the only balls he can catch are right under his dick, and the football stars do not get an A just for mouth-breathing in the back row of the classroom. See?

'Leveling the playing field' is the current "spit it out loud" phrase of the far right- and it invokes images of poor people (because that's what we all are in relation to the really really rich people- all of us, everyone you and I know- our doctors, lawyers, bankers, local businessmen large and small- EVERYONE- never ever forget that) having what little they have taken away from them so "crack mamas can go buy big screen tv's and iPhones".

Here's what it really means.

Fairness means that NO ONE can evade the laws by buying enough lawyers and accountants and politicians to change the rules in their favor- to evade taxes or to be given special compensation in return for promises of delivering things they don't really have to (like jobs. here in the US. that pay well. in safe work environments).

Fairness means that NO ONE can purchase an election or skew the news to fit their own agenda.

Fairness means that no one in this country has to fear a medical bill, or feel pressured to work long hours with little compensation to TRY to avoid being laid off, or losing their home to predatory lending practices- things that are unheard of in every other civilized nation on the planet.

Fairness means that we celebrate long term committed loving relationships- ANY long term committed loving relationship and that the real perversion is protecting the sanctity of marriage by having a shitload of them for no good reason other than "upgrading to a newer model" but then saying "it's totally cool- I asked god for forgiveness".

Fairness is respecting all religious views- what if Tim Tebow WERE Muslim?

Fairness is protecting the right of a woman to make very difficult and personal life decisions as much as the right to walk into a gun show and buy any kind of death tool you want to.

See? Fairness is not "making the rich poor and giving the poor shit they don't deserve". Fairness is "making sure everyone plays by the same rules and no one gets stomped into the ground".

Fairness is...FAIRNESS for everyone, not just everyone who believes what you do.

Right now the bullies are running the playground. Is being pissed about that Class Warfare? Is that Envy Politics?

I don't think so. I think it SHOULD piss us off and that we SHOULD change the rules back to level the goddamn playing field- because it always hasn't been this way, yanno. Just because you can't remember it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Believing that America is the land of opportunity where everyone can get ahead with a little gumption and elbow grease has been both our blessing and our curse.

A blessing in that GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY AND A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD, yes- it can be done, with a lot of luck and HELP FROM OTHERS thrown in the mix.

A curse because we're all so enamored of being wealthy, it's so encoded into our definition of how successful we are as humans, we're all "just one lucky break" away from being the guy holding the giant lotto check, that we tend to identify more with the very very rich than the very very poor, which is, of course, ridiculous.

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
-John Steinbeck


And don't paint a fucking red flag on my house because I said "socialism".

Because that would only reinforce my belief that America is in trouble not because of the "evils from the outside world trying to destroy America because they hate our freedoms" so much as the "obstinate and proud refusal to learn a goddamn thing from anyplace other than America no matter how much we suffer because of it. Proudly. Because we're Americans".

2 comments:

  1. I just love it when you are fired up...and I just happen to agree with you too. well said queenie.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ditto and ditto. We need to send you on speaking tours all over the country.

    ReplyDelete

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