Big Darkness

Well, still coming down from all of the nail-biting freakout that circles around the production of a book.  Now sitting around, powerless, still nail-biting, waiting for inventory to arrive at the distribution center.  I remain convinced that something will fuck up, because…well, everything always fucks up.

I have this attitude because I’m not drinking enough.  That’s thanks to overwork.  As many freelance writing and editing gigs I can pick up in light of the somewhat shaky ground my day job appears to be on, and the threat that the weekend job may dry up.  So I’m going to horde money in an attempt to weather the summer, which might find me unemployed and contemplating a move to West Virginia, where my moonshine-addled family will welcome me with smothering arms.

That’s worst case.  Moving to the Ohio Valley area is not the best way to cheer up.  It is the best way to nurture dreams of owning a beefy pick-up and driving it in circles through town every weekend night while getting steadily drunk on MGD.  It is also the best way to pick up a church-going, overweight girlfriend who gets pregnant when you exchange any fluids, even if it’s a shared Slurpee.   Then I can work at Arby’s and get a trailer just outside of town and live in motherfucking hell and maybe that’ll teach me to appreciate all the good things I’ve passed by in the last 34 years.

Honestly, I’m expecting everything to be fine.  Because the country’s going to recover and my steady places of employment will be fine.  Right?  They’re “rolling back” our raises at my day job, which is better than unemployment.  But the day job is becoming a source of stress.  I feel somewhat like I’m in some sort of combat situation.  I’m under constant threat of being ripped apart by a sniper, my leaders are all desk-jockeys who can’t piss straight and are wearing blinders, the mission objectives are blurred, and I spend 90% of my day utterly bored, with nothing but busy work, waiting for shit to explode.

We received the “raise rollback” email last week, and the important people who work 4 hours a week are meeting as you read this to decide if it’s the way to go.  If this were the private sector, and not some egg-sucking liberal pussy NPO, they’d lay off about a quarter of the staff (and I can provide a list, if they want) and clear the decks of what is an alarming number of useless, shitcan, Hulu-watching, compulsive texting, moaning little bitches.

Because I’ve had private sector jobs, I live in a constant, irrational state of fear.  I see myself coming into work and being fired without severance before I’ve turned on my computer…then being asked to stay till five to finish up whatever outstanding work I have.

Of course, that won’t happen.  But I can’t shake the dread.

I was thinking the other day about Thompson’s “Big Darkness” article.  The Bush re-election feels like a different era after only one month of Obama Saturation (or, rather, a few years of Obama Saturation), but Thompson’s conclusion sure hits home.  Those last three paragraphs.  My grandfather told me the other day that Thompson’s Big Darkness was here now.  But my grandfather isn’t what we would call an optimist.  He’s doubted the world at large since he built a sandbagged machine gun nest on the roof of the family’s Silver Spring home during the riots following MLK’s assassination.

Of course, we laugh at him today, but those 68 riots in DC were something.  The rubble and ruined buildings, in some neighborhoods, stuck around till the 90’s, East Germany style, before gentrification finally cleaned them up and turned them into Target stores, Starbucks, and condos for white people.  The plan for DC’s blacks may well have been put in place in 68:  Do not repair the riot damage until you can figure out how to develop a palatable genocide plan or simply deport the blacks to reservations.

But I harp too much on that topic, so I’ll just stick with mocking my grandfather who, queerly, voted for Obama and has been a lifelong Democrat, except for the Nixon and Reagan landslides where nobody was a Democrat.  But he’s that Old Left, FDR-style Democrat who hates blacks, hippies, women, and wishes he had a machine gun whenever he sees Neo-Cons. Something we need in our young Democrats today.  If we were a bit more organized, eager to go to war and shoot Japs in the face and collect their ears, swilling cocktails in darkened basements, and turning into gun-crazed maniacs when confronting ultra-conservatism, things would be different.

The Old Left is actually kind of scary.  The New Left tried to be scary, but it all fell apart.  They betrayed us and surrendered to the mythical “Silent Majority.”  And now you read about groups like the Weathermen – mad bombers, really – who are walking around talking about their yachts and houses and expressing regret that they ever spoke up and tried to change things.  Most of the 60’s and 70’s liberals have fallen into that mold.  Blacks have given up fighting, the hippies are dead, the activist groups have all aged into greedy conservatives, our parents told us not to stand out from the crowd, and we were given decades of luxury.  Now our rebellious types wait until they get a permit before they march, and stay within the neat lines laid out by the police, and obey the rules, and shuffle home in time for fruit juice and rice cakes.  Then they sit in their expensive condos and houses, surrounded by all the comfort items and toys they desire, and preach from their cushy armchairs.

But I harp on the American Liberal far too much, as well.  What I should focus on is the simple stuff… Like my crippling nostalgia for Sid and Marty Krofft.  I’ll leave you with that, and a link to a thread full of Youtube shit from my youth.  Electra-wow!


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