For those who don’t know – I used to live in a VW Bus in various places. It was fine in Hawaii but living in a car in Mainland America never felt okay to me…to be honest, it was hard to get a good night’s sleep unless I was someplace I knew was secure. A lot of that was born out of a general paranoia about crime in America. This is another excerpt from the original Slackville Road. I’d love it if you would join my free weekly reader where I am currently doing a serialized rewrite of the novel – this particular passage didn’t make it into the newest version but stands well enough by itself. Sign up for the reader at http://eepurl.com/rMijn or in the sidebar to the left.
I have to admit when parked in urban areas I would sometimes get freaked out sleeping in my car. It always felt like someone was going to come up and smash my window and shoot me. Or yank the door open and drag me out of the bus in my sleeping bag while beating me with a club. I had anxiety attacks and the truth is that I sometimes became scared. Not scared of the dark. Scared of people.
I know how desperate and violent people can be. I know what they will do to satisfy their needs. I knew that I wasn’t safe like Bill Gates in his mansion surrounded by security. I was vulnerable. I hate feeling that way. It’s why it was nice parking where I knew someone. I wasn’t just some random person that could die without anyone caring that way. That was the scary part. Being irrelevant and dead.
What’s the point when the system is so locked into a basic premise that is so incredibly wrong. I don’t feel my culture is evil, just misguided. Somewhere along the way from the days of aristocracy and peasants, the peasants bought into the aristocracies lie that as long as some of the peasants could become aristocracy, it was okay if most of the peasants stayed in poverty fighting over the crumbs. Look around the world.
We represent the aristocracy to the rest of the world. Of course, that doesn’t make us exempt from having people who are so sure having cash is the answer to all of their problems that they are willing to sell drugs, rob innocents, rape the planet of resources, and cash in on crime. Those are societal driven illnesses. We see the problems in our society quite clearly: crime, drugs, violence in schools, poverty. Instead of attacking the root of these problems, we offer “Band-Aid” solutions. More cops, stricter drug laws, censorship, destruction of liberty, and welfare. When are we going to wake up to the fact that our culture is held together by a quickly stretching net of adhesive tape. The peasants are beginning to get restless.
Capitalism means you get to have the chance to climb out of the sewer, but it also means most of the peasants have to remain there. The insanity is that this “system” has suckered us all into believing life runs like the lotto. Don’t get me wrong, I got lucky. I’m not likely to be persecuted for my race, sex, or sexual orientation. I have a better chance of getting hired, rented to, or talked to on the train.
That, doesn’t change the fact that lots of other people are getting the shaft. It’s not that I feel our society is unfair to me, it’s that our society is not fair. Karl Marx was right about the masses rising up when they realize they’ve been getting screwed, the problem in the United States is that Americans are so brain washed into believing happiness is only as far away as a sport utility vehicle. We’re like a bunch of spoiled kids who keep believing the clown is coming to our party.
Robert Heinlein once said “Etiquette is the grease that makes the wheels of society turn.” Personally, I’d like to see the wheels grind to halt before we PC ourselves into oblivion. All this politically correct behavior serves to keep us from coming together. The linguistics make us hate and fear each other and it’s stupid. We perpetuate it just like we perpetuate violence by sanctioning violent retaliation to violent behavior. Again, don’t get me wrong…if you shoot at me, I’ll shoot back, if I can….but that doesn’t make it right. It’s just a lot easier if nobody shoots at anyone.