It has been a nice couple of days. I'm self-employed; a "consultant." If I want to get pay, I have to be constantly prospecting, cold-calling, research, marketing, setting up appointments, convincing, negotiating, and closing deals. I'm a salesman; it's in my blood, and I love it. It can be brutal at times, but the 9 to 5s are not for me, so I'll stick to being a self-employed consultant...
Anyways, I said it was a nice couple of days because I was able to close on a deal I've been working on--one that looked like a long shot. Then--and I love when this happens--a small (quick) project felt on my lap; a customer called and told me she needed assistance on resolving a (tech-related) problem, which I was able to take care of withing 30 minutes, and was able to bill right away (and get paid).
Good stuff... I went to a diner nearby with my wife this morning; we split a breakfast plate (we've been doing that lately), and I ordered a small oatmeal bowl on the side.
We came back home, did some work around the house, and I also did some more of my business stuff, following up on emails, etc.
In the early afternoon we went to the gym; I usually do about an hour on the treadmill and that's it, but my wife always reminds me I should do some weights as well to help me with my neck pain (from all the time I spend in front of the computer--like now), so I did do some weights today as well.
After the gym, we stopped by a mall and had yogurt (where you add all the little things like nuts, and strawberries, and mango, and even cookies). We sat while we ate the yogurts, read the paper... Everybody around us seemed to be enjoying themselves, families, groups of friends, some old, some young, different races, some well-dressed, others not so much. But everybody just carrying on... Doing their thing.
We, as people, as regular human beings, sometimes go through ups and downs, but some people tend to have more stable (normal) lives than others.
There are all kinds of factors, including job and economic security (or lack thereof), health, family background, education, social circles, etc.
Because of this, if one thinks carefully, it is easy to understand that even during historical periods where tyranny has engulfed entire societies, a very huge segment of the population remains unaware of the situation--willfully ignorant, or otherwise.
I'm always rallying against the creeping fascism engulfing the country as a result of corporatist cartels choke-hold on our entire system of government.
But it is because of (normal) days like today, that I see what an almost impossible task it is to get anybody else's hair on fire about the need to wake up, unite, and rise up against the fascistic plutocracy! Yes, yes, many have told me already... It ain't going to happen.
Imagine, I put my yogurt cup down on the table, and walk up to somebody close-by and start talking about the plutocracy. They'll call security on me and try to take me in as a 51-50 case!
I had a good day... Business is picking up; opportunities are coming my way (of course, because of all the prospecting, and cold-calling, and follow-through, etc.), so I can see how easy it is to keep focused on keeping your own boat afloat, on working hard and trying to make as much money as possible, and if you have a little bit of talent (education, experience, opportunities, well-connected people, etc.), and somehow you're able to escape some of the harshest realities many less "lucky" people have to face, then it is easy to look the other way, or not to look at all--why bother?
It seems that you have to take very deliberate steps to try to understand how artificially-imposed economic austerity is causing the incidence of mental depression (and suicide) to skyrocket in the U.S.--and in Spain, Italy, the U.K., Greece, Portugal, et al.
It takes wanting to look at how the ruling elite, the criminal plutocracy, is colluding (because of shared interests) to enslave the population, and to ravage the environment motivated by unquenchable and rapacious greed.
But I digress... Tomorrow Sunday I'm taking a little one-day vacation with my wife; we're going to drive to the coast, be by the water, walk by the beach, read, and enjoy the day, as we usually do on Memorial Day weekends.
Don't worry, I won't start talking to any fellow beach-walkers about the Koch brothers, and the plutocracy, and the government being on the take, and about how the private-for-profit prison industry increased their profits by more than 700 percent during the last ten years, or about the torture going on at Guantánamo Base, or the thing I'm always harping about regarding the need for people to unite into cohesive nationwide activist networks capable of acting in concert in resistance against the plutocracy. I'll look the other way too, and just kick back and enjoy the day.
Sad but true. Only those who are whacked down by the system, who loose everything in one fell swoop, who fall into poverty and despair, feel any sense of urgency, but by that time they have been stripped of any power to do anything about it.
The middle class today, just like in any society of yore where fascism rose, is not going to do much about it. All the progressive organizations are not going to reach out to each other and form strong, strategic, and cohesive networks capable of acting against the plutocracy. It will all continue to be piecemeal. Some focused on climate, some of this or that fish or bird being engendered, some on student debt, some on poverty and homelessness... All hacking at the branches of evil, while few if any at the root.
But that's the nature of things; I guess it has always been like that.
But don't worry, when I get back into the swing of things on Tuesday, I'll still devote some of my time with my OCD focus on trying to organize activists into a nationwide network. There is a reason why the term "it's like Don Quixote tilting at windmills" is often used.
Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!
P.S. I do think it is important to "hack at the branches of evil," and I'm not discouraging anybody from the great work they are doing in many areas. I just think it is very important to "hack at the root" of the problems we face, and I don't see that happening much.
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