Thursday, March 10, 2011

the widening gap

I remember when phrases involving gaps regarding generations and haves and have-nots seemed like theoreticals discussed in Sociology 101 classes but more and more I'm seeing the way that these dynamics play out in a dying city where the ones who can afford to get out flee like rats off a sinking ship and the politicians still manage to get theirs for theirs and tell the rest of us to keep being nice and paying our taxes and our union dues because we don't really have a choice.



I live a simple life and don't ask for much, and I know I could get by all right, having ample networks in the way of support (family, church, friends), and I keep on going knowing that the future looks more and more bleak.

I just have to laugh when I listen to the foolish and selfish talk of those older than me who live a life of ease and self-centeredness who can't see beyond their own generational myopia because they make twice what I do and have nothing to worry about but maintaining the status quo while still trying to fight the system.

It's "those other people who tax our social services" not him and his fat public pension that I'm paying for. I blame the Republicans and Dems equally because the former have run the country into the ground, and the latter have continued to do so, not to mention having run my city into the ground and have bled us dry.

"We paid into this system and so we get what we're entitled to. You young people seem to think that you deserve everything handed to you. They paid into it for us and now it's your turn to do the same."

And then the talk about revolution which is a fashion statement to the Woodstock generation and its ideological whitewashing descendants who brag about their favorite whiskey and cool clothes as opposed to being musicians who often lost everything for speaking out against corrupt systems.

To which I say that you wouldn't like it because it'd keep you from watching sports and going to gamble at the casino that will only contribute more misery to those who don't live in the swanky cracker burbs. You're just as tone deaf as the neocons you rail against.

There's no point in trying to explain that everything is screwed because everyone's so obsessed with their own comfort that they don't think about how their decisions affect anybody else. No one they know is living paycheck to paycheck, they'll be totally fine when the bottom drops out for the rest of us.



Up in the morning and out to school
Mother says there'll be no work next year
Qualifications once the Golden Rule
Are now just pieces of paper

Just because you're better than me
Doesn't mean I'm lazy
Just because you're going forwards
Doesn't mean I'm going backwards

If you look the part you'll get the job
In last year's trousers and your old school shoes
The truth is son, it's a buyer's market
They can afford to pick and choose

Just because you're better than me
Doesn't mean I'm lazy
Just because I dress like this
Doesn't mean I'm a communist

The factories are closing and the army's full
I don't know what I'm going to do
But I've come to see in the Land of the Free
There's only a future for the chosen few

Just because you're better than me
Doesn't mean I'm lazy
Just because you're going forwards
Doesn't mean I'm going backwards

At twenty one you're on to of the scrapheap
At sixteen you were top of the class
All they taught you at school
Was how to be a good worker
The system has failed you, don't fail yourself

Just because you're better than me
Doesn't mean I'm lazy
Just because you're going forwards
Doesn't mean I'm going backwards

3 comments:

Randal Graves said...

Spoken like a true fat-cat pensioner trust fund baby. We won't Win the Future™ with that attitude!

Anonymous said...

what gets to me, having had to do a few tours of duty in red states, is that these places are literally falling apart, it take a whole other level of denial not to notice the collapsing infrastructure all around you, must be the improved suspensions on the suvs and caddies..

thatgirl said...

It amazes me too, though I think people spend a lot more time finger-pointing at others and just hoping they'll be able to pass the buck far enough that by the time it really cracks up, they'll be long gone.