By the way, I am not a Marxist. I just used the Scholars and Rogues cartoon because it’s nice. I mean, telling. I mean, it’s pretty close to what I’ve been trying to tell you here.
By the way, Scholars and Rogues? Who in the world did come up with such an insulting name? I mean, come on, man, couldn’t you find something respectful?
Anyway, I have something to say here. Would you care to listen?
See, this democracy thingy, like, the business of voting and all — aint workin’ for me. And I’m gettin’ f… tired of it. Honest to God, I swear it.
Is it working for you? It is? Well, I am glad. Good for you. It aint, for me.
I mean, the business of voting and the electing. The big parties and their big partying — Democrats, Republicans here in the U.S. Or, like, Congress and BJP and the hundreds of crooks and liars over there in India. Or, Liberals and Conservatives in the good-ole Kueen’s Kountry. Their confettis and their carnivals. their festoons and frolics. And their fat fame too.
Their sweet smiles and sweet talks — especially a few times every four or five years depending on how frequently you vote and flex your democratic muscle. You vote for them: you get awed, inspired and even teary-eyed at their firm handshakes and fancy suits and fine speeches. Their bow ties and BMWs. The massive money raising and jaw-droppin’ spending. The big email barrage from their big, undisclosed garage. The phony euphemism of one candidate and the trashy trash of the other make you non-utterly un-confused. The third candidate is always absent.
Neighborhood kid Joe the Schmo runs against neighborhood kid Jane the Jolly — By Golly — people who their own people tell us grew up in your neighborhood even though you never saw them, and those who dress up and look and talk and act and not act and play and go hidin’ exactly the same way, but just not your way, or for that matter, your neighborhood’s way.
Then, the non-issue made a big issue, and the real issue made a non-issue. The exclusion, half-exclusion, distortion, frontpaging of no-news and backpaging of frontpage news. A crazy head of state in India bans newspapers she don’t like. Baseball, golf and cricket become larger than life — at least, larger than your TV screen. Foul-addict footballers and phony-filmsy film stars…get covered for what you and I want to keep covered, like, in shyness and in shame. We do one thing and teach our children to follow it. They do something radically different — like, flash their thighs in front of millions of people and their children across the world, and get prime time praise too. Nobody calls them radical. You and I protest their obscenity and rip off the paper on the subway. You and I are called people to suspect. We get watched.
Now, just this week, U.S. Supreme Court said the watch-men and watch-women can hold you for any goddamn reason and strip search you. Wow, baby, that’s real privacy. It tickles me, man! Like, prying your private parts. This land of privacy keeps surprising me all the time!
It all sounds like cliché, right? Well, that’s a part of the game too. You say the same-old, stupid things over and over again. Like, things I’m saying here now. It becomes cliché. You put it in a non-commercial blog. Very few read it. You walk an extra mile and make it a YouTube. Nobody watches. Even your own family members and close friends laugh at you. Or, worse, they say, “It’s nice.” That’s sad.
Meanwhile, the international bank criminals and international war criminals walk free (the Supreme Court could pry their privacy open too, but they didn’t). The little criminals and the totally innocent get life in privately-owned prison without parole. Or, they get shot and killed by gun-toting police and self-appointed, crazy neighborhood watch guys.
The 24/7 war game goes on. They find WMD in Iraq; at least, New York Times and Judith Miller find them. Then, they find nu nukes in a nu Goddamn country. The propaganda…I mean expert opinions…work. The 24/7 fear game comes back live on TV. The visible, lethal tanks and guns and the invisible, lethal gun lobby take over. They bring back the orange and semi-orange and red terror alerts. You don’t want to open your mouth. I try. My family members and close friends forbid me. They say, didn’t you hear on TV the urgent, state-of-the-estate…I mean, state-of-the-state press conference? Our elected president and popular prime minister asked the nation to show patriotism, patience and sacrifice. They say, we must sacrifice at this urgent hour. They say, it’s not normal time. We must be more patriotic and patient now than ever before.
Then, sandwiched between two such abnormal, patriotic, orange-alert, more-sacrificing, patient times, there is a small window of normal, peace time. I keep sacrificing. I keep patience’ing. I lost my old house because I lost my job and then I lost my health care and could not pay the medical bills and could not pay the mortgage bills. We now live in a small apartment in East Brooklyn. Patiently.
My twenty-year-old son dropped out of college because I could not pay his college bills. My thirty-year-old, married daughter returns home to live with us with her two children because her husband lost his job and he said they shipped his factory out to China for good and that there’s no way he could work at McDonald’s, flipping burgers. Three months later, he starts working at McDonald’s. They still live with us.
I however get just a tiny-winy impatient that the visible, killing inflation and price gouging and the invisible, killing lobbyists, pushers and price gougers do not share our sacrifice — whether it’s abnormal war time or patient peace time. Oil companies, food companies, seed companies, milk companies, drug companies, tree-turned-toilet-paper companies, computer chip and hightech companies, the bank and money companies, and companies who play companies like a Las Vegas casino do not sacrifice either. They get themselves hefty bonuses. I heard they also bought big houses and went to Bali for one of their recent vacations. Or, was it Bermuda they went?
My son got a little impatient too — dumb kid. He went to protest on Wall Street. He came back home two days later with his face swollen, one broken tooth and right arm in a sling. My wife is treating him now. She is his home-based doctor.
The patient guy who’s resting in the hammock and complaining about the Goddamn Marxists seems he’s having a swell time, and peace time. For the others who’re working for him as a tree…well…I forgot to ask them their feelings. Maybe, you can do that. Please. Would you?
I mean, this democracy thingy was supposed to be something simple — something you and I could see with our own simple eyes in our own simple life…before death. Right? I always thought democracy and voting and electing our leaders would lead us out of this misery and mess…before death. I always believed democratically elected leaders would find jobs, provide health care and education, and lead us into a world free of violence, prison camps, drugs and gun killings.
Now, where are the people we elected the last time? Do you see them way up there — like, how do they do their democracy? You do? Well, I am glad. Good for you. I don’t. Maybe, I should see an eye doctor.
As soon as I get my eye insurance, I’ll see a good opthalmokocist…or, whatever that is. Optrimician.
By the way, this blog is not about sarcasm. This is about circus.
No…wait…it’s about democracy, and voting.
Brooklyn, New York