Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sugar Daddies

Content warning; yes, I am going there again...

We have a friend who works in the “service industry”. We wanted to visit so called to see if we could meet for lunch. Turns out she was working that day, 12 hours, and didn't get a lunch break. Really? I though that was illegal. And it is, sort of. Turns out she wasn't really working a 12 hour shift, rather she was working a double; two six hours shifts stacked end to end. Six hour shifts don't required a lunch break. Nor, I suppose, ever qualify as overtime.

Two thoughts occurred to me. The first was that is is shameful for a country that claims to be a first world society, indeed the leader of the free world, to let such a subterfuge be legal. The second was that anyone who demands (or even allows) such from those who actually perform the work from which they take a living, is a miserable excuse for a human being who should be publicly shamed. Publicly shamed, since they are clearly not moral enough to be ashamed without help. (Actually, about the only people who think we are the leaders of the free world anymore are, frankly, us. And shame is a concept that we haven't dared countenance for years, least we collectively die from it.)

Of course there will be a chorus of voices claiming that, “If she doesn't like it she should just quit.” If you are one of those voices, think about it for a minute, then please be quiet. For you are assuming that there are other, better jobs around. An assumption that is completely false. (Or, as delusional thinking is labeled these days, an “alt-fact”.) More to the point, treating anyone that way is simply unconscionable.

Mind you, I don't have a problem with long shifts, having worked and managed more than my share over the years. The problem is demanding people work those shifts without even getting a break to get something to eat. Oddly, treating an animal that way can get you thrown in jail, so it would seem fair for the owner of that store to face a little jail time. To make room for him we could let free a person who is locked up for doing nothing more harmful than smoking a little weed.

It would, of course, be somewhat less shameful if this was something unusual in America today. But it isn't, and we all know it. The middle class in this country wasn't sacrificed to “outsourcing”, The good jobs haven't gone to undocumented workers. (Unless you count automated machines that are out of warranty.) We didn't all suddenly turn lazy, taking to demanding welfare checks so we can spend our days sitting around smoking crack and having babies. The middle class went away because we gave up on honoring labor. We took to worshiping greed instead, and have been for administrations going back decades. It seems that many of us thought we would, somehow, be the beneficiaries of that greed, and thus become rich ourselves; another of those “alt-facts”.

We are so enamored with money and greed that we went and found ourselves a Sugar Daddy to be President. He promises to dress us up pretty, buying us the most expensive of nuclear weapons to hang in our cleavage, making us the envy of the world. He is going to build a giant wall around the mansion to keep the lower classes away, and to remind us how special we really are. He will surround us with armies of special ops "security" to make sure no one, anywhere, ever says anything bad about us again. That mean little Muslim who dared call us a "whore" is definitely going to get his.

In exchange he gets to tell us what to wear, where to live, what parties to attend, what we are allowed to say, and who our friends are going to be. He does expect us to keep telling him, and the whole neighborhood, just how much we adore him, and how great and wonderful it is that we get to be with him. In fact we are never allowed to criticize him in any way about any thing. After all, since he is perfect, any criticism would have to be a lie.  And yes, he gets to screw us silly anytime he feels the urge. From his point of view that is pretty much the whole reason for the arrangement in the first place. But those who take up with a Sugar Daddy know that as well. 

Unfortunately it was a kind of shot-gun wedding. Only about one out of four of us said "I do", but find ourselves with his ring on our finger anyway. So this is likely to get awkward.

Those of us who don't need, don't want, and think that both sides of a Sugar Daddy arrangement are repugnant, are going to react in various ways. Many have already taken to the streets in protest. (The fact that the women of the country are leading on that score makes me smile.) President Sugar Daddy is apparently upset by that, and getting new rules made to stop us from being so disobedient.

Some, this being America, are likely to take a more confrontational, and potentially violent, stand. After all, it was Candidate Sugar Daddy who brought up the "Second Amendment Solution" during the campaign. Bad idea really, but then he seems to be full of them. I hope it doesn't unfold that way. There is too much potential for collateral damage, windows get busted, the good china gets smashed, everyone in the neighborhood is embarrassed, and stray rounds can find their way across the yard and into the kid's bedroom next door. 

A divorce of some kind would be the best route out of this mess, but there are the lawyers, prenuptial agreements, who gets to keep the big jet, which of the houses get sold, and how to untangle the bank accounts. A divorce is likely to take a while, and in the mean time we can still get hauled off into the bedroom. (Sugar Daddies, and this one in particular, have strange ideas of what a marriage allows.)

I fall into the camp of those who are simply going to be "unfaithful."  Not really protesting...much. A lot of people (not near a majority but a lot) elected to move in with the Sugar Daddy. They are already getting what they bargained for, and have no complaints coming when repeatedly summed to the boudoir for a “romp”. Who am I to tell them they can't live that way? But rolling over and joining them isn't particularly attractive either.

I think I'll just slip out the kitchen door and hang out in places where the Sugar Daddy doesn't go and doesn't care enough to bother. There are many places were self reliance, honesty, and true compassion are still the norm. There are many places where no cares about race, where they believe in true freedom of religion, and don't mind pitching in to help a neighbor. A little caution is necessary. Our Sugar Daddy appears to be a touchy, easily angered, little man. Best to move quietly and stay below the RADAR as much as possible.

Off the grid
A small boat, mobile and independent of the grid, makes a really good kitchen door. We can't let our infrastructure (boats) crumble, can't pretend things are working when, in fact, they are not. We rely on each other to pass true information, lies and alt-facts will get us hurt or worse. Most of us will help someone out if we can. Partly because that is simply the right thing to do, and partly because we know we are going to need some help someday. We meet all kinds of people who don't live exactly like we do, look exactly like we do, worship the same god we do, and have a different history. Yet we know they are not our enemies, just fellow travelers. 

Sugar Daddies often have a short self life, spend themselves bankrupt, and even their kept lovers get tired of them. President Sugar Daddy looks to be a particularly flagrant, vain, childish, and manipulative example of the breed. Simple facts seem beyond his grasp, and the idea that some people don't really care for him and his Sugar Daddy ways looks to drive him to near distraction. America may tire of him pretty quickly.

Or not. America can be flagrant, vain, childish, and manipulative herself. Facts are not really important, and anyone who doesn't care for the American ways of doing things? Well, they don't get a Christmas card. After all, those who take up with a Sugar Daddy are not shining examples of humanity either. 

Maybe, someday, a really astonishing thing might happen. America might shed her love of money and quit looking for the next Sugar Daddy to protect her from the real world. Should that ever come to pass, she will find herself  in the good company of the honest, the capable, the mature, and the likable. 

It is a much better way to live then shacking up with a Sugar Daddy.


LW said...

Please NEVER stop "going there". Your voice and the voices of the all Americans that reject 'alterative facts' need to be heard. As a Canadian I can only watch from afar(ish) and hope someone remembers the lessons of the past. That and maybe plan to go the Azores route and ARC back to the Caribbean instead of the ICW...

Richard Klyce said...


Donald Strong said...

I greatly enjoy your blog and am one with your sentiments.

Mike Boyd said...

I agree with LW. It is nice to hear from other more sane Americans. Hope I can again join you out on the fringes where this stuff is a bit less of an impact on daily life.

TJ said...

Sane Americans are actually the majority. But I am afraid that tyranny and oppression showed up wearing jack boots, with a switchblade in one hand and brass knuckles in the other, looking for a street fight. Democracy and liberty showed up in flip flops, carrying an extra latte to share with their honorable opposition. Though I try to keep some humor about it, I fear there is no way this ends well. The street fighters are going to carry the day unless or until the rest of us realize just what kind of a fight we are really in and start landing some blows that hurt. Anyone who spends a dime that ends up in Trump's coffers or in the pockets of those who support him are betraying the nation. Any news organization that doesn't loudly and consistantly call out his lies is nothing but part of his propaganda machine and should be boycotted, along with any of their sponcers. DC needs to be flooded with real protesters who don't care about permits or permission, who demand this administration be replaced, and who bring the government to a stand still until that happens. Anything less will simply not get the job done. I don't know that there is enough fight left in us, and we certainly haven't seen any hint of anyone willing to lead it.

The free world is going to need to band together without the US, and move forward without us to secure a future where freedom is still honored and democracy still rules.

John Bistrick said...

I agree with your comments, and posted it to my FB timeline. We are all on the "list" now because of these references to the countries unfortunate choice for president. we must all 'RESIST".

TJ said...

John, I heard it said somewhere that you can tell more about a man by looking at his enemies than you can his friends. I would be pretty honored to be the focus of one of the President's twitter tantrums, but I'm just a semi-retired white guy gypsy who is basically homeless, lives on a small sailboat and wonders around a tiny bit of the world looking for pretty sunsets, dolphins playing, and good people to share a sundowner with. My hope is he has some real enemies somewhere who are, even now, laying the groundwork for defeating this assault on democracy, real street fighters who have spent their lives battling in the trenches, who know how to set up and deliver a killer blow. With this guy a few years tax returns would probably be enough, a couple of emails from a girl friend who need some help with a "situation". But one thing is certain, a person like me is no kind of threat to the POTUS. Hell, even 3,000,000 people like me weren't enough to keep him out of the White House. 10 or 20 million people like me filling DC might be enough, and, if anyone sets it up I'll sail Kintala up the Potomac to take part.

John Wixted said...

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.

Herman Melville

I think we can safely substitute "immigrants" for poor here. It was true 150 years ago, and its no less true now.

Unknown said...

Amem, John, Amen.

Carl said...

Keep up the well reasoned rants. We're with you.