I have frat-boy, white-hat-wearing friends who work on Wall Street. They’re laughing at us.
I went for dinner last night at a really expensive new shithole — don’t worry, I wasn’t paying.
I was having a reunion with friends from high school, none of whom were wearing white Ohio State hats because it was a Tuesday. Come Saturday night on 88th and Amsterdam, that’s sure to be rectified.
One of the guys in particular has no trouble treating his friends to expensive dinners; in 2010, his bonus was about 2X what I suspect to be Gavin’s total net worth. Doesn’t matter in terms of dinner anyway, because he can expense it.
They’re Wall Streeters. Bros. They have hella cool stories, like about how their investment banks have to stagger bonuses and obfuscate payments so that they don’t take hits in the court of public opinion. Not that anyone’s paying attention.
As outsiders, me and this other guy — a wannabe Asian Miyazaki-freak graphic designer — were the only two in this group of five who subsist on actual salaries and know exactly how much money is in our bank accounts.
I’ll tell ya: Watching Egypt and then watching these guys, it’s clear to me that American Democracy is dead.
Here’s how Egyptians handled their society’s gross inequity: Every young person with legs went to the capitol and screamed until their president quit.
Us? Even if our poor were paying attention instead of watchin they stories, they couldn’t get all the way to our Capitol. It’s a big country, they can’t afford plane tickets and they can’t fit through bus doors.
In terms of power, our poor don’t exist. They’re invisible. To win elections, politicians need money and marketing, so lobbyists control government and there’s no way to stop them.
You know what — FUCK THAT. Maybe there is a way. I have my doubts that a situation this bad can be turned around, but I’m not going to tell my kids I sat by and watched their fucking country be hijacked by some overgrown date-rapist frat-boys who think they’re above the rest of humanity.
What can we do? How about:
Get a fucking blog. Use Facebook. Use real life — grab someone at STARBUCKS for chrissakes — take every day to teach at least ONE person about the unprecedented inequity in our system.
We have the same Social Media tools as Egypt! We invented them for fuck sakes. Build your own group of awareness, then use these same tools to connect to other groups: that’s how BIG groups of people are formed!
Fucking MOVE! If we bring our asses to Washington DC — and believe me, we can rally more people than the hundred thousand that Egypt had — how can the world ignore us?
Yes: As you can tell, I’m just fucking with you.
I wouldn’t tell EVERY young person in the country this — in case there’s some minuscule chance of mass mobilization and someone actually making a difference — but I don’t mind telling 20,000 Street Carnage readers:
Seriously, from the bottom of my heart, I really and truly believe that this situation is utterly, utterly hopeless.
Here’s what I’m doing with my time, and what I’d advise you to do as well:
1. Work and try to have fun.
2. If you can’t get a job for more than a year, change careers and adjust your lifestyle.
3. Don’t have any expectations of the government: It won’t change, and will always keep our masses just healthy and safe enough not to revolt.
4. When the nuke terrorism comes in a few years, if you’re not killed by it, try to use it as the ultimate teacher of perspective: what a precious gift human life is.
After a martini last night, I had the balls to step to one of my high school friends at the table and ask him if he ever felt anything close to “guilt” based on everything that’s gone down.
“No offense, but… have you?”
He essentially told me that he didn’t have that problem, but that if I did, he was totally cool with me paying for my own dinner.
I said, Nah, I was just wondering.
Thanks for dinner, bro; cool story.
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