Sunday, July 6, 2014

With eyes half closed (from Two Guys from Garfield)

July 14, 1980

It is a gray day with gloomy clouds and the threat of rain – exactly like I like it, storm teetering over the tops of trees with me underneath.
The story starts again: a Monday morning rising and a Monday morning walk to work, the bitter taste of a Monday morning coffee still lingering on the tip of my tongue.
I do not want to open my eyes and let the world in.
There is no enlightenment in this dull light only the momentary glimpses of reality I’m not yet willing to face.
I hear the trash men banging the metal cans along these streets as the truck pushes its way from house to house, leaving dents in the world and cracks to rust.
A stiff wind blows through the trees, bringing a chilly relief, but also a sense of loss, as the chains of labor reconnection and we gather again to for the Monday to Friday ritual we do only to survive.
Most do not open their eyes too wide or dare too see too much in this corrupt world we live and work in, feeling our souls degraded by those who claim to have our best interest had heart, the lords of our manor, to whom we sell a piece of our souls five days a week, but who steal more than we actually give, and make us feel guilty for refusing to let them have it all.
There is a social contract between boss and worker, that bosses always violate – even though who seem less corrupted than others – and there is always a point where labor becomes slavery, and we lose control of our lives, living and breathing for interests that are not our own.
These masters of society have become so used to taking that they assume it is their natural right, and make you feel guilty when you protest and try to set limits on their ability to exploit you.
They come to believe you do not have the best interest of the company when you refuse to give blood as well as sweat as they squeeze both out of you – sometimes even congratulating you for your good work so that you do not notice the knife sticking out the shoulder they just patted you on.
Their decisions – good or bad – affect those who have tied their lives to the company, and yet the poor worker dare not object too loudly or become branded as a troublemaker and cast out to seek other employment with some other exploiter, who would not want to hire someone who might cause trouble in their place.
It is the reason so few rebels last in this horrible exploitive world.
The only sin here is losing money; the only virtue is making it.
Unlike oil or other natural resources, human labor never runs out, and is easily replaced, especially in a place like this where it takes so little time to train someone new, and pay them less than the last one earned.
What we fail to see are the little in groups within this little world that get the most benefit, those who not merely sell their souls, but take an active role in helping to exploit others of their own kind, and so like some pet dog get pieces of bread tossed their way by their grateful masters.
Those who do not take part either endure the endless abuse or move on, and those who cannot move on, keep their eyes closed as much as possible to it, trying not to let their dignity wane from being so abused, hoping beyond hope that at some point some higher power will inflict justice on those who do damage, little realizing that when the whole bubble bursts, those on the bottom will get hurt the most.
This will be the fate of Two Guys when it finally closes its doors.

And even though we might hear the whisper of truth in the wind that blows through these trees, we do not listen to it, and strode on with half closed eyes, hearing instead the sad wail of homeless we might become or Monday morning drunks, choosing to accept our fate even when we know God has abandoned us, and these crooked, lying, dishonest masters of finance rule our lives, and destroy us if we choose to fight back.

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