Monday, October 15, 2007

say goodbye to freedom fries

it has been a few days since my last post. this is for a few reasons, first being the internet connection i am "borrowing" from the hospital has been down, second being the death that i caught in my lungs this weekend. having been sick this weekend i have had time to reflect on a few thoughts in between coughs and secret nosewipes under the cushion of my couch. i got to spend some time with my friend and family member damien hugo on saturday evening. now, damien is french, not in the way every white kid was irish after house of pain came out, but french french. born and raised in france. he has good incite on working america versus france and even more specifically in the business sector. damien works a desk job, dealing with computers, what, i do not know, but that is enough of a background to know that he sits in a cubicle for 8-10 hours a day, listening to gibberish from bosses and complaints from co-workers. he likes his job, though. maybe not his work environment, but he likes what he does. he has a laundry list of comparisons to the american work ethic versus that in france. he says though, that it is becoming a rapidly decreasing distance betwixt the two. and not so much towards the better side.

one thing damien said to me was in concern to health care and how he never feared getting sick in france, if even unemployed or underemployed, he had health care no questions asked. now here i sit, unemployed, a block away from a hospital that unwittingly gives me wifi, and sick as a motherfuck. meaning i can't properly take care of my kids or even play with them. i can't go to my garage to paint, or work on getting any commissioned jobs. i can't even allow my wife time to work on her craft, which is also a form of income for our family. all for the cost of a few pills, i could be working and functioning at a regular rate, but because of our system, i am here, on my porch, hacking out lung pieces while this crazy frenchman tells me how fucked up it is that i am doing this. it got me thinking about my father.

my father has been an undereducated, overworked steelworker for all of his life. since the age of fifteen he has work for huge companies that have repeatedly sold out to foreign companies to save on labour, to dodge environmental policies, etc. he has no real job security but the loyalty of a house slave. "look boss, OUR house is burning!" he recently had a heart attack which, of course, left him out of work. he works, and has worked for fifteen years, for a company called rebsco, inc. rebsco recently cut insurance for all full time employees without proper notification. so my father was fucked. for six weeks he worried over whether or not he could even go back to work in his condition, but with no insurance, he could not afford the proper medication to help him recover. suffice to say, when the doctor gave his omniscient nod for my father to return to work, he went right back to rebsco. why?

why do we continue to place ourselves into the position to be fucked by these multibillionaires? starbucks puts local coffee shops out of business, so we keep going to starbucks. walmart hires thousands of employees at minimum wage, puts locally owned businesses on the skids, and still we flock there. my father still works for the same company that undoubtedly led to his heart failure at age 57 and still he clocks in every day, six days a week, not earning enough to withhold savings in case of a medical emergency. america, you have whored out your children long enough. they are slipping into alleyways of destitution and your casinos sell promise of escape, on arm pull at a time. where have all the ginsbergs gone? where is our chomsky? our che? our fidel? i need a lozenge america, you have run my throat dry.