14 March 2007

VACATION BLUES

Taking a vacation when you’re virtually destitute would seem, at first glance, to be stupid and pointless in the extreme. You’re far too deep in the financial crapper to actually make an “occasion” out of it; and, at least in horribly plastic wasteland towns like this one, you can’t take three steps beyond your front door without the commuting legions of SUV people zeroing-in on you, as if you were nothing but an ambulatory speed bump with a target painted on your forehead. In reality, that last bit is a problem pretty much all the time -- it’s just during these infrequent job-free periods when you involuntarily witness the true epidemic that it all is.

And, of course, the “epidemic” is not merely that suburban consumerist assholes have an insatiable desire to turn us un-homogenized, monetarily-challenged common folk into bloody smears of raw hamburger -- literally and figuratively -- it’s also, and primarily, the generalized fuck-you attitude of conspicuously self-important ignorance that spawns such deeply ingrained pathologies in the first place.

Alright, yeah, my bloodshot eyeball couldn’t tell the difference between a pathology and a pie crust. OK -- we’ll take that as read. However, I do have capacity enough to recognize carefully nurtured and, ultimately, self-destructive stupidity when I see it. Sadly, I’m given far too many opportunities to exercise said capacity, during every pathetic and useless waking moment practically. All those souls unfortunate enough to be just sufficiently awake are faced with this seemingly insurmountable dilemma of dumbness, this formidable and monolithic Great Wall of prideful ignorance and stylish imbecility -- here at the sour extremity of the scorched-earth mess that is the United States of America, circa 2007.

As I aimlessly tramp around and along and through the somewhat decayed streets of midtown Sacramento, giving dubious vent to the ridiculous pretense of an extremely low-budget vacation, I frequently play a silly little mental game with the multitudinous automobile slaves and passersby with whom I can hardly avoid coming into juxtaposition -- these being mostly the more mobile denizens of this place, the oh so stereotypical “Californians” who’re pompously self-absorbed and deign to acknowledge the existence of strangers only when they’re inconvenienced, pissed-off, or want something (usually for nothing). I try to force eye contact, or otherwise stare at these demi-people so insistently that they get squirmily uncomfortable. Meanwhile, I ask myself silent rhetorical questions about each cell-phone idiot and fashionable mouth-breather and Escalade fuckstick I encounter, pointless queries like Do you suppose this spasmo gibberish-spewer with a telephone bolted to the side of his head gives a shit, or is even the least bit aware, that he’s living in a nascent Christo-Fascist dystopia? or, more to some immediate point, I wonder if the over-priced power-bod bitch sucking down some $6 frou-frou coffee drink while nearly splattering my tired old ass with her Acura realizes that the Democrats just betrayed us to AIPAC? Does she even know what AIPAC is? As I said, it’s a silly game I play -- to say the least. I suppose it’s fortunate that none of these well-dressed arguments for retroactive abortion has yet seen fit to have me busted -- for looking at them, if nothing else.

I wish I knew what the answer was, if there even is one. Sometimes I think I’d rather be back at my sinkhole of a job, but what was that recent poll about dissatisfaction run rampant in the American workplace?

2 comments:

profmarcus said...

you captured perfectly my emotions when i am back in the states, which is one reason i try to spend as much time as possible out of the country... when i'm in the u.s., i live with my son and his family in reno, which is a reasonable facsimile of sacramento, only on the more tawdry side...

speaking of assets and jobs, i have neither... with great good fortune, i have managed - so far - to live from occasional contract to occasional contract, which has allowed me the great relief of not having to subject myself to the milieu you describe so well...

lee said...

Last time I was back in SF, in 98 I couldn't deal with it. After living back on Cape Cod for 7 years I forgot how nutsy living in a city was. There is this hum that vibrates through you. The same thing is happening here as well. Not the noise so much as the energy guzzling money grubbing rich (wash-a-shores)assholes (although we do have smog now)who have driven the price of real estate so high that most of the REAL Cape Codders, the working, middle classes can't afford to live here anymore. It all boils down to greed and money my friend. The more they have it the more they want and the less they give a shit about anything or anybody else. Lets see how well they all fair when the stock market crashes and they loose everything...
Side note, back to posting... I think. Had to take a health-type break. Good to see you and the Professor have been holding down the fort.