“I just want to be clean.” — Jim Carroll, from The Basketball Diaries.
A facebook friend (and former classmate) of mine posted the following as her status a few minutes ago, with regard to the debt ceiling debates:
Text, tweet, email, call, yell, send smoke signals; let Washington know that WE ARE MAD AS HELL AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO SIT BACK AND SAY, “PLEASE, SIR, MAY I HAVE SOME MORE.”
Although she’s talking about the ongoing political quarrel, the irony here is that this is exactly the request that got us into this mess. We’ve been begging for “some more” at the expense of our neighbors for decades, now, and by refusing to take “no” for an answer, we’ve mortgaged our kids’ futures. We’ve done this both on the individual and corporate levels, deciding that banks and corporations that fund politicians (and/or the unions that transfer money from those corporations to the politicians) are “too big to fail” (This just in: The Brontosaurus wants a recount.), while on an individual level, what was once charity or the embarrassment of being “on the county” is now an entitlement (with all the connotations that come with that.)
We demanded more for the poor — we now bemoan “food deserts” and underclass obesity, and we expect government to spend someone else’s money to fix that as well. We expect government to subsidize television (remember digital converter box vouchers?). We not only have wanted “some more”, we’ve insisted on it and rewarded the tin gods and their functionaries who have supplied it.
Screw Marx — government has become the opiate of the masses, the panacea we expect to make our lives pain-free. We shouldn’t look at Washington as if we were children, terrified that if Mommy and Daddy keep fighting, we may not get our milk and cookies tonight. We should look at it as a chance to detox — it hurts, but when it’s over, we can be clean.