Puppet On A String


   I don’t know that my dreams, wants, wishes or aspirations are any different than anyone else’s.  I don’t know that anything I aspire to is what you would call outlandish in any way.  A job that has insurance, so I can go to a doctor if i get ill, or more importantly, so my wife can go to a doctor if she gets ill.  A chance at a better life, a real chance at building something of a future for myself.  A few extra bucks in my pocket, so I can take my wife out someplace nice once in a while.  I think she deserves it, after all she puts up with me, she must be a saint.  A way to pay for things in this system is important, it makes the making of money the most important thing a person can do.

     So when jobs disappear, when unemployment is as high as it is, nearly 1 in 5, all of that goes out the window. That’s why I couched the statement above the way I did.   I am not asking anything outlandish or insane, and I am no different than millions of other people who are unemployed.  So when companies don’t, won’t, or can’t hire people to help them do those small things they want, it hurts the American dream, it hurts everyone.  It makes it impossible to look after those you love, makes it impossible to pay for all of life’s necessities for any length of time without a handout from someone else.

    No one wants to get used to getting handouts.   No one wants to be a burden on anyone else, but things going as they are make it difficult if not impossible to do anything but have to lean on others and get by on the efforts of those who have.  Which makes those of us who are out of work have-nots, and we were made have-nots by the companies that we hope will bring us back to the land of the living, and we are depending on those who are the haves here.  Dependent on their tax money to pay our unemployment, which we would rather not have to use.  Dependent on food stamps and cobra, and a score of other programs that are paid for by the haves.

     Dependence is a terrible thing.  I want independence, but with things as they are, even if I get a job tomorrow, I won’t have it. The haves and have nots here are separated by a thin string, and that puppet string is pulled by forces outside of our control. The haves dance on that string, those of us out on our asses are lifeless puppets, strings cut, face down, ass out, yet still alive, hoping someone will re-tie our strings so we can dance again.  The entire system we live in is built around dependence in one form or another.

    Independence is, in a very important way, control.  Capital C Control.  The more control you have, the more power you have to do the things you want in your life.  Those of us who are unemployed have no power, no control.  We understand our position, though. We don’t want to run the world, we just want to have control of our world, and we don’t have that. And it feels endless.

    What this all boils down to is that I feel helpless, I just want to feel like a productive member of society again, and having that taken away is a real crime.  But I was fired. Regardless of why, does that mean I committed a crime against myself? Against my family? Or should I externalize it, blame the fat bastard who fired me? I can’t do either.  I did what I thought right, regardless of the outcome, foolish though that may have been, and him?  He’s as much a puppet as I was, all puppets do is the bidding of their masters, they are blameless. Stupid? Clearly.  Pawn? Absolutely.  Fool? Without a doubt.  Culpable? No. He was and is a slave, doing his masters bidding.

    That is all.

Today’s Nuggets, by George Orwell, Via wikiquote:   If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever. Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.   from “Animal Farm”

So far as I can see, all political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

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