Transformers in a creamy sauce….

I think everyone out there has experienced being left on hold by some large corporation with whom you have tried to conduct business over the phone. Once, while speaking with my internet service provider, I got left on hold, and forgotten, three times, over the course of a 45 minute call, that dealt with an issue that took 20 seconds to correct. I’m sure you all have a horror story or two to add to this; it’s a common practice these days, for companies to increase their profit margins by reducing services, such as phone operators. It is also a big pain in our collective ass….

My whole life is currently on hold, by the Federal government, bless their pointy little heads. The Social Security Department, having decided in their wisdom that I am not yet worthy, have denied my disability application, so I am compelled to go through the appeal process, adding perhaps another 6 months to the time I will have to survive without the additional funds that SS will provide from the money I have put into the system over the last 45-50 years.

Six months more of this…. This includes never being able to go anywhere, as I cannot afford a car, and riding buses, though efficient financially, is very slow and laborious, not to mention hard on my back. Riding across town to buy my bread at the discount store is a four hour bus trip, to cover a distance I could drive in 8-10 minutes each way. Also, the buses don’t run before 8 AM or after 9 PM, so no staying out late or starting early.

No going out to dinner, and no going out for a cocktail; those events are not even close to being included in the monthly budget. Hell, if I buy more than a hundred dollars or so of food, it puts a strain on things. I don’t starve, by any means; I do have more than many families with kids have to get by, and for that I am grateful to my 29 years of state retirement contributions.

But, there are no extras included in there…. no laundry, no clothing, no shoes can be purchased, without first doing without something else that may be critical. I am impressed more and more all the time with the creativity shown by the families who are getting by on less than my retirement; this isn’t easy, at all.

Living this way has given me two things… One, as stated, a feeling of intense admiration for the folks in society who get by on the pittance that they can earn, given the lack of jobs and the determination of the 1% to keep things this way. Two, a burning, intense hatred (a word I don’t much use, as I consider it unhealthy in general…) for that same 1%, in which I include all politicians, priests, preachers, rabbis, imams, bankers, industrialists, and specifically Mitt Romney’s asshole of a wife. (Well, him, too, but she is particularly noisome…. “average housewife” my dying ass…..) It is clear by the daily nonsense I see in the news just how little they care, or even comprehend, about the situation in today’s culture of disparity. And, as far as I can tell, by all available evidence, it is deliberate on their part; they just don’t care about anyone else….

Ah me…. I had not intended to rant first thing this morning. But, having awakened once again in pain, followed by a bout with my PTSD’s lovely gift of depression and tears this morning, it just sort of flowed out of my head and onto the screen. I don’t wish to make this sound like a litany of whiny complaints. I know I have it better than a lot of folks.

But, damn it, it doesn’t have to be this way, and if there was even one person in government that I could point to and say, “Look, there is an honest man, trying to make things better for those who elected him,” then I would feel at least a little bit encouraged. As it is, I can only look forward to more of the same, for at least six more months…. and I defy anyone out there to tell me I’m wrong here. It should be easy, one would think…. all you have to do is find ONE person in office you can show me who is trying to do right. One, that’s all…. go ahead, I dare you…..

That will take you a good, long while, so in the meantime, I’m going pearling…. y’all can come along, or not, as you wish…. I’m too much in the depths of depression to care….. but, you are welcome, if you so desire…. let’s go…..

O men with sisters dear,
O men with mothers and wives,
It is not linen you ‘re wearing out,
But human creatures’ lives!
— Thomas Hood (1798-1845) — The Song of the Shirt

Yesterday, I reblogged an article posted by rmott62, a very strong, inspiring young woman who writes about her experiences as a sex trade slave. I use the word “slave” deliberately, for no other word describes the women, and children who are trapped, abducted, or even tricked into becoming prostitutes. I have reblogged her work, and the work of a couple others who have been fortunate enough to have exited the system in which they were entrapped, several times, and I will continue to do so as long as she, and I, still are publishing. I do this because I am ashamed….

Yes, ashamed…. I am ashamed at myself, and of all the other men in the world who turn their faces away from this issue, and pretend that there is nothing they can do about it. I am ashamed that this practice, of raping and abusing women and girls, just for their own pleasure (though I fail to see how it can be pleasurable to rape or abuse…), just because they can, not only has been present for thousands of years, but continues unabated in today’s supposedly enlightened culture. To my way of thinking, all of us men are responsible for this, and it is our DUTY to do whatever we can to put a stop to it.

Back in the days when mankind lived in caves, when a man in the tribe became dangerous to others in the tribe, for stealing, for abusing others, for whatever reason they had that went against what was good for the tribe, the other men in the tribe made it a point to discipline that man. It may have been merely a physical beating, or banishment from the tribe, or even death, but the other men took it upon themselves to see that the will of the tribe was upheld. Somehow, when culture grew, and started inhabiting cities, and there was more interchange between various tribes, the system broke down. The people of the society were now supposed to be protected from such depredations by law….

But, at about this time, the unscrupulous among us started to solidify their power over society; the richest among the tribes were those who made the laws; they were also the same ones who saw nothing wrong with raping and abusing women, assuming that was their privilege as one of the beloved ruling class. And so the laws were made to reflect that attitude, and the die was cast.

This system has survived the centuries, and now the attitude that prostitution is an integral part of society is so ingrained that even those without any other kind of power over others can go to a brothel and act out their sick fantasies, at the expense of a woman or child who has no defense against the violence that occurs if they should object…. and if there is a discussion it is always about a “victimless crime”….

It disgusts me, right down to my core. It is perhaps the sickest part of our society, and very few people are even aware of it. There is certainly no discussion in the public at large of the issue; it is far too volatile for any politician to ever take the chance of siding with the women who are being abused. Hell, a good half of those assholes in office are trying to take away the few rights women have managed to get into law over the last 40 years; Roe vs. Wade has already been set aside, and the asshole men who can’t stand the thought of a woman having the right to choose anything, much less their own sexual nature, are trying to make sure it never gets revived.

I’m not sure what can be done, at least not on a society-wide scale. The attitudes, and laws, have been so set in stone for so many years that it may require surgical removal to make any progress. But, on a smaller scale, I can make noise about it, and try to shame any man who believes otherwise that he is not only a fool, but an asshole fool, and doesn’t deserve to call himself a man.

When I was in college, the women’s rights movement was in its beginnings, and there was a phrase coined that says it all, to me…. Free our sisters, free ourselves…. None of us men will ever be truly and completely free until we have freed our sisters from such servitude.

That is a fact. It is not just my opinion, it is a fact, and we would do well to pay heed…. and those who engage in this industry had best watch out, for if no one else does, I will be looking for them, and when I find them, I will do all I can to end them. And you can interpret that however you wish; I have no doubt in my mind as to what I mean, and I mean “end them”…..

“It is ridiculous to suppose that the great head of things, whatever it be, pays any regard to human affairs.” — Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) — Natural History, Book ii, Sect. 20

This has always been an issue in my mind, from the very earliest times I was exposed to religious instruction, in some Presbyterian Sunday School when I was a young lad. Even at the age of five or six, I had a hard time understanding two things about God, if what they were telling me about Him was true. First, I couldn’t believe that a God, supposedly able to create an entire universe, would take the time and/or energy to care whether or not I was paying attention to His rules. (I also questioned why He would make rules in the first place….)

Secondly, the whole idea of worship made me uneasy…. it seemed a bit, hmm, needy, or vulnerable, to me. I knew that the admiration of others made me feel weird; uneasy and uncomfortable with their fawning (baby sisters & brothers, little kids, and others who show such feelings for their older, more accomplished siblings….). Even the admiration I held for my older siblings, and my heroes, made me a bit uncomfortable. So, I could never understand why an all-powerful being would want any part of such a thing.

So, even then, before I had any real defenses, I suppose my ability to reason made it hard for me to accept a lot of what I was told. It never made sense to me that the pictures I saw of God made him look just like some human patriarch (hmm… no Freudian comments?); I mean, if he was so far above us, how did we know what He looked like? I didn’t remember seeing any photos of Him, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, (another questionable entity to the mind of a five-year old….) playing in the Dead Sea surf, nor did I recall any such word from God Himself. There were a lot of folks saying that the Bible is the Word of God, but the only ones saying so were people, not Gods.

So, maybe I’m a bit different than the average young bear cub, but much of what they tried to foist upon my unsuspecting mind never took hold, as I found it completely unbelievable. It just didn’t make any sense, even by the rules they were setting up for it.  If I, a little kid, didn’t like to be worshiped, why would an omnipotent being have anything to do with it?  Give me a reasonable, rational answer, and I will consider the concept. But, I think you’d best bring a new and different set of arguments, because the ones that have been in play for several thousand years just don’t cut it in my book….

“Everybody has the right to be stupid, but they’re abusing the privilege.” — Smart Bee
___________________________________    Today’s material has been a bit heavy, to match my mood, so this is here merely to provide a bit of comedic relief before we go on…. silly looking, isn’t he?…. But happy, too…. The picture was found on No Ruff Days, a WordPress blog site that has wonderful pictures paired with quotes, all about dogs and their relationship with mankind…. the address is:

“You can have a winner [in a nuclear war].” — George Bush, 1980.
In 1984, he said, “I never said that.” — The original interview had been taped…

The funniest part of this is that he continued to deny it after hearing the tape…. There isn’t really much more about this I can add; it’s pretty clear as it is. I’ll just say this: It’s not his fault…. Yep, I said that. It’s our fault. We, the voting public, are the ones who not only overlook this sort of asininity, but show our approval by electing these same liars time and time again. As long as this habit continues, then we will continue to see nothing but liars in office, and our journey toward a rational society will be put off that much longer….

Just desserts, I’d say…. If you need an example from current times, just go to any of the several sites that have been set up with the expressed purpose of showing the lies that just ONE candidate has been spewing all over the airwaves, to wit: Willard Mitt Romney. This man is possibly the most clueless candidate to come down the pike in many a year, and he still has millions of people willing to ignore his lack of ability to speak the truth….    Pretty sickening, to my way of thinking…. but, deserved, nonetheless….

“All riches come from iniquity, and unless one has lost, another cannot gain.  Hence that common opinion seems to be very true, “the rich man is unjust, or the heir to an unjust one.” Opulence is always the result of theft, if not committed by the actual possessor, than by his predecessor.” — St. Jerome (340?-420)

Funny, isn’t it, how certain religious figures from the ancient past seemed to have an entirely different view of reality than did the prelates of the churches of which they were a part? I suppose it is just another example of how those in power are corrupted by their position, and become the very thing against which they preach. I would imagine that today’s modern church has de-canonized St. Jerome, as his philosophy seems to have diverged from what is common practice in the church; they are far too deeply involved with stealing from the people, and supporting those politicians that support them in that practice. Beware the man who says he is doing something “for your own good” for he is reaching into your pocket as he speaks…..

Well, that was certainly a journey of some distance; I wasn’t sure if it would ever get to a point of closure. But, as always, I fooled myself long enough, and everything came out alright. It’s done, anyway, and that is all I care about at this point. It’s been a struggle, pain-wise, but with a lot of breaks, not too bad; I’m no worse than when I got up, and that is a decent starting point. I’ll just take an extra pill, and see how it goes. Most importantly, it is going…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.