You Incomplete Me
At this point, I don’t give a damn if the word “incomplete” cannot be used as a verb. If “complete” as in the endlessly sappy, “You complete me” can be a verb in that context, so can “incomplete” in “you incomplete me.” It perfectly describes how I’m feeling about the world and the people who populate it in general. So if that and the excessively captiousness of this disappoints you, consider it a down payment on all the disappointment to which I’ve been subjected over the span of the first 54 years of my life.
And if I am querulous, just consider this the long-delayed rant if you will of a man who throughout his entire life had played by the rules of self-interested and self-dealing individuals and corporations that had never intended to play by the rules and had intended, instead, to keep all the marbles for themselves while forcing us to doom ourselves to failure and mediocrity. Others too high up on the food chain to even glimpse had made the rules but, being the lemmings we as a species are, we allowed this status quo to go unchallenged.
Ergo, if I complain too much, it will at the very least be proof of one man’s outrage that these various and sundry crimes against humanity both great and small have remained unchallenged and that I still possess a sense of how things should be (and once were). Consider this a failed attempt to exhaustively enumerate the people and institutions that have continued to make and keep miserable the lives of billions of humans, starting with me. I know fully well this far from exhaustive list will go largely ignored as with everything else I write but I keep thinking of the old adage of the only failure being a failure to try to change things.
What follows is a list of the things that have disappointed me both during my life in both a past and a present tense with no thought as to chronology or levels of disappointment.
1) My government disappointments me most of all. Mark Twain once said, “I support my country 100% of the time and my government only when it deserves it.” My love and support for my country has been forced into the theoretical and conditional, which is to say I support what America used to be. Our government extracts taxes from us when no provision in the US Constitution allows it to do so (income taxes weren’t a reality until Franklin Roosevelt’s time in the 1930’s). Yet despite harvesting billions each year in taxes from people generally below the 1%, our government gives vast sums of money of money every year to militaristic regimes such as Israel, tens of millions to bi-polar puppet dictators such as Hamid Karzai, to war profiteers that openly lobby for no-bid, cost-plus contracts and war against nations that do not threaten us in the least. We pay the government to spy on us, to kill us, to round us up and detain us without charge because the self-dealing USA PATRIOT Act allows them to. Our government is so shockingly corrupt that lawmakers in our nation’s capital wouldn’t know what or how to vote on anything if it wasn’t for lobbyists to tell them. K Street, the epicenter of Washington lobbyists, has become the fourth branch of government and the third chamber of Congress.
2) The corporate mainstream media disappoint me. If it were merely utterly worthless, it could at least have the redeeming feature of not actually destroying democracy. Our media, however, is not merely useless as it helps to maintain the furtiveness and secretiveness of one administration after another, regardless of party, to launch its countless evils against our people. Because it’s all about access and to hell with informing the American people. The media are supposed to be the watchdog of democracy, the buffer and responsible filter between us and our elected officials, the entity that is mandated by social compact to be our eyes and ears. Instead, what we see is a media that consider African Americans only when they’re suspects but hardly ever victims. Missing black children hardly ever get reported on with even a tenth of the attention, air time and ink of a Jon Benet Ramsay or Natalie Holloway. Yet whenever a white person commits a heinous, capital crime and blames a nonexistent black man, the media are all over it. In the wake of tragedies such as the Boston bombings, the Texas fertilizer plant explosion, the bitumen spill in Mayflower, AR, just to name three very recent examples, they always get the facts wrong because providing copy is paramount with no thought whatsoever paid to whether or not it’s correct. This is why incorrect names, ages and other very basic information get vomited to the American public then changed with rarely any disclosure. It’s all about blabbing, blabbing, blabbing and who cares if the dead suspect is really dead, the perpetrator really black or even exists? Just keep feeding us bullshit to keep the TVs on and the pages turning. Like Winston Smith, they can always change shit without even acknowledging it. Yet, the media get arch and arrogant at the very hint of criticism for the horrible way in which they do their jobs and at the very thought that conscientious citizen journalists can do a much better job of it without the access, sources and resources they enjoy.
3) Literary agents. I wish you all would just die or, failing that, get jobs slinging hash or pumping gas in Hoboken. You are the greatest pox on literature since the book-burning Nazi party. The difference is, the Nazis merely burned books that had already been published, when they’d already become part of the public record. The fascist book-burnings were symbolic only and changed nothing. You are worse than the fascists because you kill the dreams of the truly talented and prevent many, many worthy books from getting published in your pursuit of money and career advancement. You treat shockingly brilliant and original writers like me as if we were dog shit under your Ferragamos and self-deal sets of stringent rules you then choose not to abide by. You demand to be addressed by name yet when appealed to by those obeying those one-sided rules, you then order a flunky to send off a disrespectful form rejection letter with the salutation “Dear Writer” or “Dear Author” without having read even a word of the property itself. You do not get to bitch and moan about getting over 300 submissions a week. This is the life you chose, the career you pursued, this is what you do for a living. We write and send of proposals in our spare time. Literally 90-95% of the time, you fail to place the adult fiction you d take on, a mortality rate that nonetheless wakes up or alarms no one and you are just as much a necessary evil as you were 10, 20 or even 30 years ago. You are stupid, you are greedy, you are self-absorbed, you are killing the literacy quotient of this once-great country. Please die. Immediately, if not sooner. (Post scriptum: The guy who makes the 15% is the hired help, not the boss. Know your role and act accordingly.)
4) NASA (Never A Straight Answer), stop airbrushing, smudging or digitizing photographs of towers, statues, cities and other anomalies your probes and rovers have taken of the moon, Mars and elsewhere. We know and have known for decades that there is other intelligent life out there. Your ineptly fascist attempts to obscure evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence in our universe just make you look as pitiful and desperate as the Nazis, Communists and other totalitarian regimes of the past. We pay you through our tax dollars to explore the universe and report the results. We do not pay you to lie to us for decades on end. Trust me, we can handle the truth. In fact, the only thing that keeps many of us going is the dream and hope that there are others more intelligent than us who can rescue us from fascist twats like you.
5) Amazon, like literary agents, please die and get out of our lives. For centuries, we’d written, published and distributed books without your help. New publishing and marketing technology and trends may be emerging but you are needlessly changing for the worse a business model that had worked since the 15th century. You brutally exploit your own temp workers, you undercut publishers and indie authors, you crush competition and have put countless thousands of bookstore employees out of work. Your DRM is a joke, you capriciously suspend and outright ban for life your customer base and authors for merely doing what was expected of them in publicizing their own books. As with literary agents and publishers, you are a pox on the publishing industry and Jeff Bezos seriously needs to get back on his little salvage boat and play the retired rich man looking for shipwrecks and leave the actual publishing, writing, marketing and distribution to those who know how to do it.
6) Republicans: If you cannot operate much above the mental Mendoza line, please get out of the way of the human race whose natural inclination is to evolve and progress beyond the primordial ooze into which you are daily trying to drag us. You are misogynists, racists, homophobes, hypocrites, you are stupid, willfully misinformed, mean-spirited and greedy. You Republicans and conservatives have held back the human race for so long it is amazing you are still a major political party and have not been all backed against a wall and shot like third world dictators. Despite a long, unbroken track record of catastrophic failure, you have successfully risen to high office and led us in one needless fruitless war after another without having the courage to fight in those wars or send whatever few loved ones in your circle to fight those wars. You create deficits, debts, corpses and otherwise push your notions of morality on us without having the slightest concept of what morality truly is. You bully the opposition regardless of how deservedly tiny your presence is on Capitol Hill and often get your way because we are a nation of several hundred bullies and hundreds of millions of willing victims. I would have every single one of you executed for war crimes and human rights abuses were it not for the sad reality that for some maddeningly sadistic reason, whatever passes for a God would continue making more sociopathic, solipsistic, self-centered psychopaths in your mold.
7) Democrats: If you cannot ably represent the poor, easily-duped saps that keep electing and re-electing you, please also get out of the way and make room for those who can and will. For every Elizabeth Warren or Ted Kennedy, there are dozens of Max Baucuses or Joe Manchins. For every Alan Grayson, there are literally hundreds of corrupt sons of Blue Dog bitches humping the leg of one giant bank or corporation or another. You are spineless, gutless, penisless and largely brainless. When it rains upon you, it is JFK and FDR pissing all over you.