A Word on Class Warfare

You can tell we just got past an election year when buzzwords like “class warfare” are getting thrown around without reservation. I’m told class warfare is the hostile means by which we in the lower bracket of the economic hierarchy unfairly try to undermine the integrity and work ethic of the wealthier individuals in the country by redistributing their wealth down to ourselves. How we’re doing this I’m a little fuzzy on, since as the years have gone by the only redistribution of income I have seen is the consistent loss of my own to utilities, a rising rent, and various other life necessities. Whatever devious scheme we poor folks are supposed to be up to, I’m obviously doing it wrong. (Apparently the memo informing me of when, where, and how we are to topple the Bastille got lost with my shipment of freshly polished battle-axes. And, honestly, what fun is any kind of “war” without battle-axes, anyway?) 

I’m told that my distrust of both faceless conglomerates and faceless bureaucrats is contributing to all the vile, unjustified antagonism from my economic ranks against those who can afford to buy my home, car, and soul, trice over. For that I’m sincerely sorry, and in the future I will take into consideration that just because these entities have the ability to influence significant factors in my personal life, is no excuse to fail to consider how possessing such power must be a burden on their fragile humanitarian hearts. To put their minds at ease, I hereby declare to these caring, faceless conglomerates and bureaucrats that anytime the stress of controlling my finances and civil freedoms becomes too much to bear, I will be more than willing to take some of the load off their hands. It’s a small gesture on my part really, but I think ultimately it’s the thought that counts.    

All joking aside, I’m getting the impression that a small segment of the population is getting somewhat paranoid that any day now their neighbors from outside the Country Club roster will come to storm their gated-community’s ivory entrances, demanding some sort of economic overhaul, or whatever. Often the sentiment of concern lingers on the fear that we uncultured brutes might turn to violent rebellion to sooth our misguided aspirations. To ease these fears let me inform any affluent citizens who might be reading this that they have nothing to worry about, because the majority of crimes we poor people commit are now, and will always be, against other poor people. Why? Well, firstly, because low-income individuals are located at a nearer proximity to petty criminals (for instance, I’m almost certain that the young man who attempted, and failed, to rob me a few years ago lived within a few blocks from me). Secondly, robbing low-income individuals of the meager possession they have carries a little-to-no-risk factor of getting caught, because essentially nobody gives a damn about Angelo’s stolen George Foreman Grill (honestly, he should take it as a compliment that anyone would even bother stealing that piece of crap), as much as when some shady hedge fund manages swindles Joe Millionaire out of a few zeros from his bottom line.

If there is class warfare in this country, rest assured it is an intra-class warfare. We poor people will turn on each other before we will ever think of undermining our more socially powerful counterparts. As for the rich, your immediate fears ought to lie with your equally affluent competitors who actually have the means to put a real dent in your earnings. Trust me, waitress Susan asking for affordable healthcare coverage for her children will not be the catalyst that erodes your trust fund.

And if I’m wrong, I’ll see you all at the Bastille!

The Peril of Talking to People

WordPress does a pretty good job filtering out all the spam that ends up in my Comments tab.  Although, it’s not like its really hard to spot:

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The first one is an obvious ad (I know what you’re thinking, who can I tell?  Well, I’m psychic), but the others seem–at first glance–to be genuine responses.  Until, of course, you notice the awkward diction, the vague commentary, and the fact that the actual content of each one of these only relates to the posts they were left under in a broad generic, sense (as in, they could be easily placed under any post, with the same message, and work just as fine).

Since starting this blog, and being expose to the commentary of mindless spambots on a daily basis, I have come to realize that my everyday conversations don’t sound all that much different from any of the comments above.  Granted, my word choice is more lucid, and I don’t usually plug designer dresses as I’m talking (or, do I?), but the general vague responses are still just as empty and devoid of substance as those generated by these automatons.  As people talk to me about the mundane happenings of their day, I’m not listening, I’m just nodding in a neutral rhythm because that is the routine that I have learned from having people talk at me throughout life.  Moreover, I’m fairly certain that the other person in the conversation is following the same routine when it becomes my turn to take over the role of “talker” so that they can gather their thoughts for another round thereafter.  No, I don’t do this with everyone (just most of my co-workers, all of my acquaintances, and more family members than I want to admit).  There is a handful of people I really do talk to in the course of a conversation, by they are by far in the minority.

I also noticed the same thing happen when I watch the news.  The anchors serve no pertinent role on my local programming, they are just fillers to provide empty commentary so that the bullet points on the screen seem more personable to me (and strangely enough, it works).  This makes me wonder how many conversations in life I must have taken part in, where I contributed nothing of value whatsoever–just serving as a sounding board for the other person, because I felt like that was the proper thing to do.  Since I don’t have firsthand access to any other mind but my own, I can’t help but fall into the fallacy of generalizing my experience to everyone else.  Part of me hopes I’m wrong, and it is only a bizarre minority of us who feel this way; otherwise, how can we as a society be expected to communicate in a evermore globalizing world, when we don’t even know how to talk to one another, yet?