Editor: This rant is from John M Williams, our good friend, former OBcean, former writer for the original OB Rag, who now sits in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, and works as an English instructor. He has, on occasion, even written his column, “Riyadh Calling“. Here is his rant – America from outside.
From Stitt-on-Schink, Republic of FarVonna
Do you not ponder how things came to this?
By “this,” I mean:
1. Corporations are people.
2. Habeus corpus is no more.
3. Once labeled a “terrorist,” one, regardless of any thing else, can legally be killed anywhere on the planet. The “right” and “might” of the Federal Government of the United States of America (FGUSA) to “defend freedom, democracy, and the American way” knows, respects, acknowledges no boundaries. In fact, the FGUSA routinely shrugs off the death of innocents while in pursuit of its own safety and targets. Oh yeah, they do sometimes (for the cameras) say, “Sorry.” and send a check. Check any news service virtually any week if you dispute this claim. My advice here is: Don’t be a target.
4. Tons of maybe not the brightest or most honorable people in the world, but, still regular people with hopes and dreams and, yes, flaws, weaknesses, defects, warts, people like us, who wanted to own a home are now in the street. Over reaching? Bad decisions? Bad luck? Geewhiz!
Are you cordial with street people? Stop and talk? See how things are going?
Pretty much, regular people who went to work, when they had a job, even if they didn’t want to; is it the high point of your day? Almost never was for me; just something that had to be done. (Sure, get me for not “following my passion.” Your try feeding people on dreams; let me know how it works out for you. Compromise, however painful, really is sometimes a necessity. “Follow your dream!” as long as it’s approved and safe and you’ve applied for every form of permission and been granted every possible approval imaginable and paid every non-tax fee the state can dream up. That leaves me asking: What dream is that? PTA approved? PC?)
Oh. It is their fault. They are stupid. You’re smart. You do not associate with losers. Uh-huh. Right on, brother! Sister!
5. The money’s going up. The opposite of “trickle down,” this is more like “evaporate.”
6. Are we down to one war now? I forget. That thing in Africa. That’s not a “war.” (Yet.) We have “advisors” on the ground to “help the local population” commit suicide. Oops, sorry, little artistic license there. “Yes, Sir. I misspoke. I meant to say: “gain their freedom and independence* from and oppressive right wing dictator.” Ooops. Did it again, didn’t I? Let me rephrase. Was that “terrorist?” “Narco-?” “War lord?” “Supporter of … (someone “we” don’t like today). I forget again. Why don’t you tell me? Oh yeah. You are telling me. All the time.
7. San Diego seems to have a mayoral race which offers a choice between a chameleon, a guy who looks like his name ought to be Benito, and a white knight who seems to be asleep. Any way to wake that guy up? Just something to do; take it if it’s easy, Bob?
8. Show me your papers, Arizona. Maybe we should institute a set of papers which would designate us as members of a species? Huh? Yeah? (“Ah. Says here, sir, that you’ve an antelope. Step out of the car, please. Fore-hooves on your head. Up against the car. Just why are you here in Arizona? Vacationing with your family, huh? Sure. Fore-hooves behind your back please. These won’t hurt a bit. I’ll have to check on your status. Don’t go away.)
9. Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It that goddamed cop helicopter. No, hooray! It’s a drone!
10. And this last one of mine which everybody else will hate: Now, if you get your way, were I to be uninsured for health, I’d have to buy some from FuckYou! Insurance Co., Inc. or some other less confrontationally named private company, some commercial enterprise helping to make the “American Dream” (Barbed wire for all! Dammit! Where’s my slop? That guard’s always late. Bet he’s drunk.) come true for all compliant and upright citizens, for all “true patriots.” (Oh BTW, here’s a copy of tomorrow’s news. Yeah. We are good. Right. See into the future. That’s us. Um hm. That’s right. Yes, yes, yes. Everything is fine.)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m wrong. I think you are.
A choice between two unsatisfactory options; take the better one. I don’t think the insurance plan is a better choice. For all who do or might suffer because of the state of reality today, I am sorry. I wish it were not so. I wish I could help. I just do not think this is the way.
Do you know the old story of the lady who saved the snake. She found it almost dead and nursed it back to health. Guess what? After recuperating in the woman’s care, the snake bit her; gave her a mortal wound. Before she died, she asked the snake, “Why? How could you do it?” The snake replied, “Lady, you knew I was a snake when you took me in.” Apologies to Oscar Brown, Jr. if I’ve mangled the lines. I’m pretty sure the meaning carries.
Insurance Companies = Snake.
I’ve had my say.
And finally, to those who do exercise real power, whoever they are (I’ve recently been informed that the President of the United States is not one of these people):
You have the power that comes with control of food, water, travel, communications, weapons, and money and I have none of these things. So far, you can capture only my body. Sure, sure, sure, you can, having captured me, wreck my mind should you wish to. Nothing I can do about that now. On the other hand, in a struggle of wills, you lose if you functionally smash my mind; at least, I don’t give up, acquiesce and surrender my self – it must be taken from me by an unstoppable force. A Pyrrhic victory? Sure, but better than none. When faced with two undesirable options … Well, everybody has limits. Everything, for that matter, has limits (ever powers); except the universe, so ’tis said, and, let’s hope, a human spirit.
One thing for sure, we’re, my “country” and I, not on the same page anymore. I don’t like paying for wars, arrogance and being expected to comply when told to “bend over.” Do you? Seems somehow un-American to me.