Fighting Helplessness

In the end, it’s losing all hope that finally kills us.   The challenge is to remain hopeful, with our eyes open, and to act in a way most likely to make our best hopes come true.   How do we sustain ourselves in an unfairly competitive  society clearly rigged to fuck most of us, unto the death?  Particularly during a pandemic that is literally sucking the oxygen out of this troubled world, at a time when the constricting threat of immediate death is palpably tightening.

While ordinary people, except during overwhelming catastrophe, are generally content to go about their lives, feeling everything is more or less OK, extraordinary people are up early every day, never satisfied, organizing and scheming to get more than they will ever need if they live to be a thousand years old.  During Obama’s time in office, when Hope and Change were in the air because we were now a “post-racial” society with a black guy as president, a great orator who seemed reasonably in tune with the great majority of Americans, the forces of reaction kicked into high rage mode.  

Untold mountains of money were spent to undermine and cripple an “illegitimate” president and his insane desire to see more people covered by private health insurance.  We wound up with neither hope nor change, we got Ta-Nehisi Coates’ first white president, the reactionary’s reaction to a half black man in the White House.

I confess, I don’t understand the motivation of these vicious motherfuckers, though I get how infernally determined they are to rule everybody by sheer force.   You see them now, during a literal plague, arguing that luxury cruise lines and the most profitable industries in history, like the highly toxic but super lucrative fossil fuel and fracking industries, need hundreds of billions in taxpayer bailouts more than people walking around on the earth need all available help to live out a plague.    If you pay attention you notice a hundred little things on the extreme right wish list being implemented during plague time: the EPA has relaxed all enforcement of those hated regulations  that so hamper the liberties of the highly profitable fossil fuel refining industry.  [1]  

Crisis equals opportunity and this crisis is a heady aphrodisiac for the greediest and most powerful among us.   These evil fucks (and we can call someone who prefers increasing his personal fortune to saving lives an evil fuck, I’m looking at you, Jeff Fucking Bezos) have a long, consistent wish list written, edited and ready for immediate implementation when crisis equals a chance for them to get richer and more unaccountable to anyone but themselves.

What chance do we puny earthlings have against the ruthless, one-sided power that in increasingly exerted upon us?    In a culture where vast entities whose sole mandate is making profit are treated as “persons” for purposes of putting them on equal legal footing with human “persons”, how do we make ourselves heard?   I have no fucking idea, outside of organizing, and how the hell do we do that in a place when we’re all thoroughly brainwashed to believe the lesser of two evils is the best choice we’ll ever deserve in the wealthiest and most extraordinary nation in history?

Much of the time we have to sustain ourselves with small things, I suppose. Reminding ourselves of the general good will of most people (outside of the outsized psychopaths who dominate most political discourse) is a help.   Most of us are at our best, our most generous and selfless, during times of crisis.

 It also helps, I think, to not accept indignities we are not required to accept.   In this category I put things like acquaintances who try to insist that we obey their irrational dictates.  When appeals to Reason and mercy prove useless, a tart and finely pointed “fuck you” can do wonders for the mood.  Come to kill me, demanding I “respect” your right to do so?   Fine, but first, I kill you with the smallest effective dose of the specific poison you require.   Now we’re cool, brother, kill away, my zombie friend.

I am wrestling with a too long letter to the CEO of the corporation that politely wished me dead while claiming my best interests were their number one priority.  It is a wrestling match that seems futile, a corporate “person” is not worth talking to, once the outcome is settled.   Will it make me feel better to write the most succinct and persuasive statement of an issue no human could refute?  I have to think it will.  

I need to go back to the drawing board, write a one page “open letter” that I can send the CEO, cc straight to the Attorney General (who should be ashamed her office can’t provide the simple legal  answer to the direct legal question in my letter) and the New York Times editor in charge of health and education.

Picture the case that Americans have an absolute right to know, at minimum, the laws that protect them, written plainly in 1,000 words, printed in the public record. Seems like the least I should be able to do, if also, sadly, the most.



[1] and this beauty, from the greedy and the evil, from today’s New York Times.  Who needs those pesky, job-killing Obama fuel efficiency goals after the air quality in urban areas has noticeably improved after only two weeks of reduced traffic?  No proof that car exhaust has anything to do with air pollution, assholes!!

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