A Note: I am going to try like heck to take a break from this kind of writing and am going to post stories of my life that some people think are worth jotting down, like the time the boys in 6th grade locked me in a pit. So look for that short story called “The Pit and the Playground.” Or the time Roger O hit me with a baseball bat (although it wasn’t his fault. I was chasing after Johnny M. and ran across home plate.) Or when Qwenny R pushed me over the bridge into Tinley Creek and why I deserved it. Or when Barbara Van hit me over the head with a rock and why I deserved it. Or why Miss Bloemendal kicked me out of my 3rd grade classroom every week for things like marching in the opposite direction to “Onward Christian Soldiers and why I didn’t deserve it.” Or why 30 years later I got kicked out of a Hollywood talent agency for having the Puck Syndrome and why I didn’t deserve it or maybe I did. Or why after a meteoric rise in politics I left the Democratic Party because I saw it was a coop and not a co-op and more like a Roach Motel. Why like a Cicada I lay low for awhile and then go all buzzy ape sh*t crazy every 17 years. Find out how this Hollywood agent ended up on a cattle ranch in Montana. Join me on the “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” that has been my life. ©
Most of us at one time or another experience a cooperative organization as opposed to one of hierarchy. In smaller cities especially in rural America there are food cooperatives and banking cooperatives. There are also insurance cooperatives. That’s how “insurance” started hundreds of years ago amongst merchants who sailed the seas and had to worry about shipwrecks. Farmers would lend each other seed if one’s own crop was destroyed. They pooled their machines.
The positive principle of communal living, of sharing a task or a meal, is pretty much gone. Sure the practice is still there, but when asked that everybody pitch in and give their fair share of profits in order to fund old age pensions and healthcare, all of a sudden you hear words like, “That’s Commie” or “I earned it and I get to keep it,” or “I’m not supporting some lazy bastards and welfare queens,” or “I gave at church.”
Maybe it’s because I grew up at a school for the handicapped where my father was the administrator that I don’t think we kick people to the side of the road if they aren’t as “smart” or as “pretty” as we are. Really, if they can’t hear, we decide they aren’t worth the bother to understand? If they can’t see, we tell them to get a dog? If they can’t walk we decide that they don’t need a leg up? Or if they are poor, we decide that it’s their own fault for being born in a slum and don’t have the food to forge healthy brains? Those slums weren’t planned, they just happened? Ha! Ha! Ha! If you believe that malarkey.
Maybe all this me, me, me, stuff comes from being shoved into coops called schoolrooms and forced to tow the line. Maybe it’s our adolescent selves still screaming, “But what about me, the real me, the me trapped inside this body? I don’t want to do what Dad or Mom did. Please don’t make me go into that box.”
Humans want to cooperate. Humans want to have lives of meaning and purpose. But the overlords have ruled otherwise. Only a few are chosen, you know, to have lives of worth. They have slogans like “The Few, The Proud, The Forbes 400.” They are the ones that get all the marbles and then when they need to play the game, lend you a few to make the game at least a little interesting. Well, that leads to resentment. But resentment is something that lives inside you rent free. It takes and gives nothing back. Something more is needed. The game must be ended. And then we can all have fun in the playground.
Speaking of which, go see the latest installment of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”
Yeah, I hear you. I’m so so weary of reading and hearing about the End of the World. And people who walk around with their heads down, texting or their heads up with earpods blocking out the world around them. I often say “good morning!” to perfect strangers, just to see their reaction. Some stare straight ahead and don’t answer, others respond tentatively and others mumble a response. What a world we live in! It’s all about Me.