THE BLACK BOOT DIARIES – Uncle Sam, Ma Bell and “Hey Little Sister”

NOTE: This was somehow modified. I am correcting it now. An entire phrase was removed from the sentence beginning “Given only these two options, I’ll take the government…” Probably a ‘mistake’ I made myself while typing but obviously from the context not at all what I meant. Putting it back in bold.

“And that slavery is, being enslaved in your mind in believing that the government is the answer to your future and your issues.”
–Herman Cain, The Bill Maher Show, January 13, 2012

He has a point. Neoliberalism is to some extent as invasive (in some ways more so) as neoconservatism.

To illustrate the point, I’ll relay another anecdote that is only really tangentially connected to that point (but doing two or more things at once is economical).

In January of 2010, when the bizarre happenings in Brooklyn were just really getting started (recall, this is after Amy Goodman’s border stop, the events in Port Huron/Squidgate, the judge in that case Monaghan’s “heart trouble” in December, the Amsterdam to Detroit Christmas terror flight, the cyber attacks that allegedly came from China against various fortune 500 companies, the man skulking around Jeremy Scahill’s apartment just before Thanksgiving, and, of course, the arson of the Conway’s condo on the 23rd of December), things were at times tense at home. Despite the fact that (one of the positive effects of the drug or drugs I was on, the euphoric-inducing one whatever that was) I had become a better boyfriend. Really. The bedroom was a better place and I was doing things like cooking–practically unheard of before), had more energy (which turned into exercise, weight loss and getting into better shape), and a more positive outlook despite all those negative things that were happening. (The point there, I believe, was to pick me up, make me numb to how my life was crumbling around me, then “drop” me by ending the euphoria abruptly in the hopes of a violent reaction. It’s brainwashing).

Perhaps in part because of that change (and, my belief that they may have masked or altered my pheromones with some biotech which then gave him an unconscious cue that he could’t put his finger on that I was not “me”–really, it’s how we unconsciously “know” each other folks, like our other warm-blooded, four-legged distant relatives) my long-term partner had said that he no longer recognized me.

This was someone I had known for 24 years, had gone to great lengths to reconnect with once I recognized that we were college sweethearts but in denial about it (our friends even noticed and occasionally joked about it), seen through the death of his mother, his grandmother and his favorite dog just months before. We dated for fourteen-and-a-half years. Marriage was not much discussed, but it surely would have been if it had become legal in New York (as it did subsequently).

Anyway, one evening in January he came home, put his stuff down and said (barely–he was mumbling, seemed to only have just enough energy to move to the bedroom) he was going to bed. Wasn’t I going to go out? To leave him alone?

He later claimed this was a panic attack. While I suppose a panic attack could leave one this low on energy afterwards, there was no sign that this was the case. He was barely able to speak, and was, from my perspective, so depressed that he was a notch or two above catatonic.

Putting the desire for me to leave with the apparent depression (the worst I had ever seen; he and his mother were close and there were bad days after that, but nothing this clinically extreme), I contemplated calling for an ambulance.

Unsure if that was a good idea, I texted one of the smartest and most-trusted people I knew: Mayur. (Mayur is Kate’s ex-boyfriend; as I’ve noted, despite their breakup, we remained friends with Kate and he even hosted a fundraiser for the alternative democratic candidate for NYC Mayor whom Kate supported. We played D&D irregularly, sometimes our socializing was to try some amazing mixed drinks at some of the better bars for that in the Village).

Mayur pointed out that, yes, NYC does have a suicide prevention and rehabilitation system. BUT, once you are in it, it takes an act of God to get you out of it. Essentially, you are on “parole” after that and they require regular checking in to see that you are not suicidal.

Now it’s not my intention here to, for example, argue for Kevorkian. On the other hand one could make a convincing argument for it, overstepping the bounds of what government should be allowed to do. It’s invasive. It’s neoliberal. It is socialism at the end of a gun (or arrest warrant, etc.).

However, I contrast that with neoconservatism where you are simply left to die. They don’t want their corporate friends to have to pay a single goddam penny for any sort of social net. It’s extreme selfishness. Given only these two options, I’ll take the government that cares too much over the one that cares not at all (and I wish it went without saying, one infected by the criminals I have more than anything else detailed on this blog).

I think my point here is, government should be there and have something to offer when we need it (unemployment insurance, for example) but not necessarily foisting it on the unwilling.

Additionally, to address Herman Cain’s point more directly, it isn’t that someone like me thinks that government is my future, it’s that I believe government ought to be the entity that is protecting it from corporate bullies and, as is the case now, corrupt government institutions that have gotten too cozy with their corporate partners (as well as things like fixing trials and elections). It’s not that they are expected to hand me something; it’s that they are expected to prevent someone else from stealing it.

And that is why someone like me will never support any of the Teapublitarian candidates: all of them want their corporate friends to be able to keep increasing their bottom lines (sadly) not by providing a better service more efficiently (that is what capitalism is supposed to be about!) but by shirking the responsibility of paying their fair share for the system that also protects their businesses. Cyberattacks, corporate espionage, infringement of IP, all of those are the responsibility of government to protect and, really, if there’s one goddam thing it does well it’s that.

Some libertarians will argue that those protections should be the private sector’s own responsibility. If that is allowed, there will be mass abuses that will do the exact opposite. The Monsanto’s of the world will eat the Farmer Brown’s alive (switch that to whichever sector: the Bank of Americas will eat the Credit Unions, etc.).

To put a cap on the other topic, I instead of calling NYC for help, made some hot chocolate, got him out of bed and in front of Raising Arizona (probably his favorite comedy), and, well that’s none of your goddam business… The point being, endorphins, brain candy, whatever it took to bring him up closer to baseline brain chemistry.

That he had just come from work at Google, well, it’s suspicious.

Now, my ex is married and building a house in Jersey. I wish him and his husband the best. I am a little disappointed that it was so easy to tear us apart, but then I haven’t been 100% perfect where avoiding the psychological games have been concerned either.

On the other hand, I haven’t shot anyone despite, for example, being drugged and having voice-to-skull messages such af the one–while passing a firing range on the way to a pawn shop soon after arriving in Minneapolis–“Wouldn’t it be fun to learn to shoot?”

No, I don’t think it would have been.


1 Comment

  1. […] anecdote, also in January of 2010, not long after the extreme depression episode I detailed here, my partner was thinking to get me committed or, failing that, on some drug that would make it all […]

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