Here in LaVida Locaville, life is pretty much what you'd expect from any working class town during a depression, businesses coming and going, housing values at best flatlined, at worst in a slow, steady decline. We are in a holding on for dear life pattern.
We're not homeless and chances are, we'll come out of this economic mess okay. We don't have much choice, really. You're alive, you keep on. But we don't know in what condition. Will it be with or without the house we poured eleven plus years of sweat, blisters and every spare nickle we had into? Will it be with our possessions or will we have to pare down and sell what we can?
We are lucky. We are part of a big loud loving family. If we have to hit the road, our dogs will have places to go.
Our family will take care of us if that's what's needed. But I wonder if we have it in us to be graceful while being taken care of. Because after a time, "taking care" can mean being told what to do, should have done, should be doing. Can we stand being children again? Do we have a choice?
Although my husband has a seriously tight and right resume, there are no job offers coming in. There IS work, but it's contract work. No more being finessed by HR. It's all about head hunters and they are about contract workers. That's the lay of the land now: hire, use, goodbye.
What was that old expression? Find em, feel em, fuck em, forget em?
Maybe in a way, this is a good thing, a real thing. Maybe this cold bottomline shit is what it's always been about and all the pension and benefits and "working together to build a company" was nothing but the song and dance corporations told to make worker bees loyal. Because lord knows, when the trends and regulations allowed for outsourcing, bottomlining, grabbing the profits out of a company and running, there was no looking back from their end.
And this is our America. I can make a million observations, but I have no solutions. What I fear is the time for that real change has past. The shift of weath has been made and the cleanup crew is power washing the dregs away. Hope is gone from the middleclass and what is left is the cynicism bought from every day reality. Even while we know we stand at a significant precipice, we are inert. Because there is nothing to be done except wait and see if we're still standing tomorrow.
The 99'ers turned out to be a huge disappointment - the movement we were waiting for, some of us praying for. But what did we expect? they were college kids, after all. And now I hear they're going to do a nation wide guitar protest. I know that'll have them shaking in the board rooms...
We don't have a movement. We don't have a leader. This is why Obama probably won't be reelected. Our creeping cynicism is also about indifference to the one man we believed and pinned our hopes to. But sadly, he didn't show much interest in the people who did the believing.
We may have got him there. But we are here. In little people world.
History may show he may have been a pretty good politician, if you look at the big picture. He saved Detroit and created a tepid stimulous package. But in the lives of the people: he disappeared.
People don't do big picture during life altering events like depressions and recessions. We tend to be little picture, sitting around the table talking about the lives we're living and how we can get through them. We're not too concerned about rich politicians or how saving the banks really saved us. Because it didn't. We know who it saved. When we wake up in the morning and look around at the four walls, if we're lucky enough to still have them we are aware too many of us are losing everything and are barely hanging on by the pads of their fingers. There but by the grace.........
Over the last four years, what has been driven home in the wake of the "hope and change" is this: its really about each of us finding our own little "hidey hole", the place that's just enough to stuff you and yours in to - where you can duck your head while the steamroller runs over your life. Again and again.
Goodbye America, whereever you are. It was nice knowing you.