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the humility of despair
inertia you can count on
by dan gonzalez
7.30.08
news


Thank you, good people of America.

It's been a contentious time for us all, and there are many who have doubted the irredeemable nature of our people.

But we have proven that we can prevail, and we can all rest assured that there are indeed few, if any, redeemable qualities to be found about any of us who call ourselves 'Americans', regardless of race, religion, or gender.

Although there are real differences between us, we thrive because we share a common spirit, a common goal, and, alas, a common failure.

We understand that the status quo in America is antiquated. It's a status quo that extends beyond any particular party and right now that status quo is fighting back with everything it's got, with the same old tactics, to our universal detriment.

That status quo distracts us from solving our real problems. It bitterly clings to antiquated concepts like 'liberty' and 'self-reliance.' It relies upon the four ancient pillars of democracy: HARD WORK, STUDY, THRIFT, and COMMUNITY. Consequently, our standpoint in the world's opinion has never been lower. And the world is right!

We know now that no one needs to work hard. Our unions have proven that there is no merit to this false pursuit. And yet, in these times of troubles, when most of Western Europe works an average of 32 hours a week with 6 weeks paid-leave a year, the status quo here expects us to work hard once again.

Tonight, we say NO, WE CAN'T.

We also know now that studying is a near-fruitless distraction. We are now, as a nation, ranked 21st in the world in Mathematics, and yet the status quo argues that we need to be educated in order to properly self-govern, and therefore we need to reform public education against the wishes of the teachers' unions and the PC behaviorists.

Tonight, we say NO, WE AIN'T, MAN, BECAUSE STUDYING IS LIKE...SO BORING.

And, to our dismay, we have seen, in our lifetimes, predatory mortgage lenders, along with predatory energy companies, wantonly steal our treasure. And yet the status quo argues that practicing thrift, particularly in terms of discretionary real-estate, automotive, and energy consumption, is the solution. That, despite the fact - as I may have mentioned - that we are now ranked 21st in the world in Mathematics, and so we can't possibly be expected to grasp anything as complex as economic thrift in the first place!

So tonight, we said, HELL NO, WE CAN'T, WHO CAN DO THAT KIND OF MATH ANYWAY? AND, SORRY, BUT PLEASE TELL ME AGAIN HOW MUCH CHANGE WAS I SUPPOSED TO GET FROM THAT CAMPAIGN BUTTON AND THE SLUSHY I BOUGHT... IF THE SLUSHY WAS $.89, THE BUTTON WAS, WHAT, $2.37 AND I GAVE YOU A FIVE?

Finally, the status quo believes that debate is healthy, and that we should participate in communities where different kinds of people, who while forging common roads ahead, often must engage in personally uncomfortable dialogue with others that fundamentally disagree with them. Somehow, the status quo believes that, even by 'agreeing to disagree' with such disparate others, that such a process magically contributes to tolerance, civility, and cooperation.

But tonight, we said NO, WE CAN'T AFFORD TO LET OUR NEIGHBORS CHOOSE ANYTHING ANYMORE. NOT THE CAR THEY DRIVE, NOT THE HEALTH PLAN THEY'RE ON, NOT THE RADIO STATION THEY LISTEN TO, AND CERTAINLY NOT THE SCHOOL THEIR KIDS GO TO, NOT EVEN WHETHER OR NOT THEY WATER THEIR OWN LAWN, BECAUSE THEY WILL MAKE US FEEL BAD IF THEY END UP MAKING BETTER CHOICES THEN WE DO, AND WE HATE TO FEEL BAD ABOUT OURSELVES MORE THAN ANY OTHER SINGLE THING.

Now say it with me!!

Can you get to your job on a regular basis and perform reliably?

NO, WE CAN'T!

Can you be trusted to enroll in and contribute to a decent group health insurance plan?

NO, WE CAN'T!

Can you figure out what a decent mortgage or car-loan is?

NO, WE CAN'T!

Can you even begin to save money, much less plan your own retirement?

NO, WE CAN'T!

Can you maintain, in good standing, a public library card that you could use to periodically educate yourself about the world around you, particularly in times when extraneous retail shopping for things like books may be impracticable?

NO, WE CAN'T!

Can you tear yourself away from your goddamn computer or TV long enough to even talk to your neighbors, particularly ones that look and maybe think different than you? No, wait, scratch that one, too hard. Hmm... Okay. Can you manage to tear yourself away from the cellphone you're texting on, just to have an actual conversation with your friend, the one who's incidentally sitting next to you right now but who is also busily texting someone who isn't actually here either?

NO, WE CAN'T!

That is proof positive, and the good news is, you are right.

You can't do any of those things, and to be honest, you don't have a Republican's chance in November of ever being self-sufficient again.

But tonight, we have finally come together to wrest those useless notions, WORK, STUDY, THRIFT, AND COMMUNITY, from the status quo. We have ushered in a new era, where the government does, hell, let's just admit it, just about everything on our behalf.

All we have to figure out now is how to pay for it.

Oh yeah, that's you as well. This is government 'by the people, for the people', after all.

NOTE: Credit Cards and Personal Checks are not accepted. Direct payroll deductions are preferred, but cash and money orders are also accepted.

This column is dedicated to narcissistic blowhards like Michael Moore, HuffPost, the Daily Kos, and Al Gore. Give us a break and go fuck yourselves for a change, eh?




ABOUT DAN GONZALEZ

Maybe it's you, maybe it's Dan. Things aren't quite the way they should be. And now it seems Dan's peace of mind has come up for the bidding, and those that he respects and trusts must all have been just kidding. Dan's little world has lost control, but still it keeps on spinnin'...

more about dan gonzalez

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COMMENTS

lucy lediaev
7.17.08 @ 6:57p

Dan, although I normally stand across the political aisle from you, I really appreciate this piece. With the failure of Indy Mac here in California, I've been amazed at the number of bank customers who did not realize that there were limits on the amount for which their individual accounts were insured. Personal responsibility is certainly on the downswing. I work with a woman who periodically protests something company management does with the comment, "That's illegal," somehow believing that legislators will protect her from what turns out to be poor personnel practices or insensitive management edicts.

This was a very nicely done satire, although I believe it indicts both politicians and citizens of all ilks! Clearly, narcissism and hot air are not confined to one side of the aisle or the other.

[edited]

dan gonzalez
7.24.08 @ 1:29a

I really appreciate that feedback, it means more than you might think.

And I hate, with every fiber of my insignificant soul, that unfortunately inherited aisle you mentioned.

I'm not sure we're even that far apart. I'm not sure that aisle is even there, except in the minds of our governors.

But, as Soundgarden once sang, 'Gotta keep 'em separated.', and that may be what our politicians are best at.

Peace.

russ carr
7.30.08 @ 12:13a

I thought that was The Offspring, jefe.

adam kraemer
7.31.08 @ 11:51a

Maybe Soundgarden sang it once. When they were covering an Offspring song.

daniel castro
8.1.08 @ 5:09p

SI SE PUEDE!

dan gonzalez
8.3.08 @ 1:51a

No se preocupe, mi hermano, creo en ti. ¡Salud! But we gotta get the hermanos and hermanas to follow suit as well...

As for Kraemer... look, man....let me say this in something close to Yiddish so you get it. Carr is a proven mensch who's earned the right to nitpick (on any of my numerous but trivial inaccuracies) if it amuses him, even if it's only to cover for the fact that he can't think of anything more interesting to say. You, on the other hand, are a shmeckle who has no right to jump on a proven mensch's coattails just to take a free swing. Now, SAY SOMETHING INTERESTING!



dan gonzalez
8.3.08 @ 2:15a

Alright, here's a lead that I found interesting, a summary of the critiques on this little hack of mine:

The ONLY negative critique is very instructive indeed: Stupid rightwing bullshit.

One positive critique said You do a great (satirical) job of exposing the shortcomings of our apathetic society. and the other said
You're truly finding your political foundation.

I didn't really mean this to be all that political, it was more of a commentary on human nature as illuminated by the behavior of certain masses when faced with the presence of a foreswarn 'messiah'. (You can appreciate this Kraemer, your ancestors got pissed once upon a time and helped kill Jesus, but then, in what must be some bitter-ass irony, directly helped Mel Gibson get rich and famous enough to expose you 2000 years later. The circle of life indeed...)

But any which way, which critique is more enlightening? The one from the pathetic sheep who has a brain the size of a fucking pecan, or the ones from the free-thinkers?

Because I'd like the bitch who wrote the 'stupid rightwing bullshit' critique to step up RIGHT NOW and either deconstruct this entire column for me, so I can see the flaws (and I know there are flaws, everyone who knows me knows I'm always sure I'm missing something, and satire is a minefield in any case) or just admit the fact that what really bothers him or her, as a true believer, is the fact that I copped Barry O. Christ's own syntax and verbiage to maximize the irony of the sheer lack of change evident in the non-movement he is stridently attempting to lead.

Peace and prosperity, YO! On all of you...

[edited]



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