I Got The Shutdown Blues- Day 20: Gripe #2

Well, the government still isn’t open and there is no end of this impasse insight. And like clockwork, shit starts happening when you can…

I Got The Shutdown Blues- Day 20: Gripe #2

Well, the government still isn’t open and there is no end of this impasse insight. And like clockwork, shit starts happening when you can least afford it.

I was driving to from the store and my tool symbol light came on in my car. It’s time for oil to be changed. It’s gotta wait, one more thing that needs attention with money that’s just not there right now. I had been putting off getting a brake job too. Hopefully they’ll hold on. Guess I’ll be staying home a little more.

Hopefully this drought will end soon.

The other day, my old trusty printer decided it wanted to get sick. It made horrible noises as I prepared cover letters and submission letters for book ideas I’ve been sitting on. I just looked at the printer rolling my eyes. I don’t need another thing to go wrong in my life right now.

And of course, it does. But this one isn’t so bad. It’s a luxury, not a necessity for me.

My dishwasher decided it doesn’t want to clean dishes well. I “YouTubed” troubleshooting guides (I love YouTube and the people who make helpful videos to save poor folks money) and found my magnet was worn out that controls the sensor and needed to be replaced. No biggie here, I’ll just wash my dishes by hand like we did before the luxury of dishwashers were available.

I got up this morning and made my usual cup of Latin coffee. Today, I add a shot of Haitian Rum to it. I sat outside on the lanai and meditated on the state of this nation, American people, the uncertainty of the workforce. This trend of uncertainty started with NAFTA and the powers that be have steadily been finding ways to shit loyal, hardworking Americans for their own personal gains.

We can’t even rely on our own government to protect workers who work inside or outside of the government anymore. Politics and patriarchy take precedence.

We just want to work. We don’t want to have to dip into our Thrift Savings Plans, or pawn stuff to make ends meet. We don’t want to have to borrow money or take public assistance, especially those of us who don’t have the safety blanket of a Continuing Resolution (CR) to give us pay we haven’t earned. Like many people in my position, I just want to work and earn my pay, not get in a line to be humiliated and mistreated because I need help.

I’m Trying to Kill Time

I go to YouTube to stream Bad Bunny’s new CD ‘X100 PRE,’ specifically 200 MPH, NI BIEN NI MAL and MIA (shout out to struggling Puerto Ricans also left to figure life how to survive because your government gave you middle fingers. I know how you feel). I have no idea what he’s saying, but it sure sounds like how I feel and Latin Trap/Reggaeton makes all things better in South Florida. It’s not for everybody, but some days though, some of us just have to thug it out to make it through a day. Today is one of those days for me.

I don’t know what the hell he’s saying, but it sure sounds good! Music is good to me right now, like soup for the soul.

This Is So Unfair

Donald Trump’s presidency is the manifestation of all things unfair, racist, unequal, and wrong with America. This weekend, many people won’t be getting a regular paycheck. I wonder if the bastard billionaire is donating his monthly salary to food banks or charities that will help people unable to pay their bill because of his shutdown?

I won’t hold my breath. All the rich know how to do is take and “win.” Giving to the poor ain’t in their vocabulary these days.

And just think, with the passing of one resolution, many federal employees will be repaid for work they never completed on behalf of taxpayers because the government can do that. Many people like me though won’t get back pay because we are subcontractors, non-essential and we’re not entitled to payments for work not completed.

I wonder if Trump supporters are in support of people getting free paychecks, money they didn’t earn? I wonder if the Trump supporters working for the government not getting a paycheck this weekend have started painting for their landlords to cover rent, walking dogs, babysitting or adjusting like Mussolini and his imps have advised some of us to? What about the people who can’t get another job because the current job forbids it? What about the people who have to work (for free), so they can’t draw unemployment because technically they have a full-time job and they worked a full-time job work week?

Everything they say with their mouths they support they go against. I just can’t understand it. I don’t even try anymore. There is no understanding crazy. Generals are resigning. Deputy Directors are resigning. The government is closed and the President is contemplating manufacturing a National Emergency. Why would any leader in the world trust America anymore? We’ve lost all credibility. The nation is being run by the criminally insane.

It Looks and Feels Like Slavery

These American government shutdowns are the closest thing to slavery I’ve seen since slavery was abolished. Many federal workers are working for free (without pay). The Plantation owner is telling his slaves to make a way, ignore your pain and lack. Wait for a savior and one day you’ll get what you deserve.

Massa Trump has us all on his government plantation, a fascist dream. Ain’t that some shit. We all are being treated as property, with no rights and no protections thanks to an inept Congressional leaders and a mentally ill autocrat as President. The only thing not being done to federal workers is they aren’t being treated as chattel.

An Immigrant’s Perspective

If you can look at America and say with a clear conscience this is the best, strongest country in the world, you clearly have been brainwashed like the rest of the poor people immigrating here. I point to the writings of Kitty Hannah Eden, an immigrant from France, and Kamga Tchassa, an immigrant from Cameroon for their eye-opening depictions of what America is really like. They have realized quickly the America they hear about back home and the America they are gifted with when they arrive here aren’t the same thing.

I’m sure there will be some people with Whataboutitis who will say people are applying to come here everyday. Well, duh… those people have been sold a dream just like those of us living here. It’s propaganda. A Disney movie rather. Only after arriving here do most immigrants discover the American dream is unrealistic and unattainable. But the media never shows us those people.

How Chasing The American Dream Kills

Allow me to share with you the stories of New York Taxi Drivers who are committing suicide due to financial problems and stress trying to make it navigate capitalism, the gig economy, and free markets. For a few to prosper, a lot of us get screwed! That’s the American way.

There is nothing great about that! It’s a sham.

Immigrants and Americans alike are slowly realizing what takes most American’s a lifetime to figure out (if ever), America life ain’t fair and we’re not really free. Sadly they are learning the hard way they can’t afford to live in America, and that the American Dream is a lie.

Stories like these go unreported in favor of focusing on the big orange windbag, but soon these stories will make papers all over the nation. As financial stressors overtake households, people who are unable to see no other way out will take the only way out they believe can make everything better for their family…and that’s suicide.

Non-oppressed work folks are finding hard work makes no promises anymore, and they are feeling what poor oppressed People of Color have felt for centuries. Hard work means nothing. Being self-employed means nothing. Getting an education, being honest and a hard worker with integrity means nothing and makes you no better off than the average Joe with a high school diploma or a dropout.

These days you can tell the difference between the two workers. America breaks its promises over and over again to her people, and yet we keep having faith in her. With corrupt leadership, rigged systems, racism, and more impasses on the horizon, we can expect more of the same.

I have no reason that things will be any better this year, or years to come for that matter. This pettiness has reached an absurd level.

Well, guess I’ll go hunt for work and meditate on the meaning of life until the next gripe hits me. What a way to start a new year!

Marley, 2019