Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Hey Bud, Lets PARTY!
As I've been reading other people's blogs and the comments on mine I've come to realize how ill-equipped most 'average' conservatives are for the New Age Of Obama. I've just watched Gordon Brown's speech to Congress and was swept with a black feeling of gloom as his suggestion that we have a Global Managed Economy got a thunderous ovation from the half-wits the voters have chosen to lead us into the pit of destruction. The guy whose cowardly government just expelled a Dutch MP for threatening to show a film that criticizes 'The Religion Of Peace' spoke out against unnamed 'terrorists'. Maybe its Rush Limbaugh he was talking about...
But the point is, when a total zero like Brown, fleeing the angry lynch-mob that is developing in Britain howling for his blood, can come over here and get a standing O for more of the policies that are ending an era of prosperity which started in 1945 and is now being crushed by the megastate, then we are well and truly screwed. Even a total political flip in 2010 wont keep us from a resounding crash, it will only help us pick up the pieces after it happens. And we have to survive in the meantime.
In England in the 70's Cockney rhyming slang for being on the dole (welfare in all its forms) was 'on the rock and roll'. And thats the first lesson of a successful transition to our New Age.
Its not a shame that the government is paying your mortgage, putting food on your table, giving you free medical care, buying you heating oil and paying you to attend some community college classes which are filled with people a nice person like you can only describe as 'losers'. Its cool. Its your right! It frees up all 168 hours of the week for you to be you!
Now, you want to get the most from your permanent vacation and not do anything to mess up getting the maximum the State will pay.
Unemployment insurance is your first stop. In the old days you stood in line and went up to a window with your filled-out form and they then handed you your dough in cash. The first time I was on unemployment I collected at the Hollywood office which was a melange of film industry types, chronic losers and regular criminals. That was the first time I ever saw a three-card-monte game as the foolish and thoughtless were buttonholed on their way out of the office by the local sharks. You always bumped into actors, camera crew, grips and scenery painters and people like that. I had an animation union card. Any craft union card or a SAG card meant that the people behind the desk left you alone. It was a 'get out of jail free' card. Because UI cant send you to a job that pays less than the one you were laid-off from. If that job paid $50 an hour... I collected UI for three months in Hawaii. All you have to do is phone two potential employers a week and you're cool. Now you apply for UI online at home and everything is done through the mail. More civilized, less fun.
The rules of UI are easy to learn and easy to evade. Yes evade! John Adams said that the Constitution would only work for a Godly and moral people. Well, those days are over so dump that Coolidge-Era ethical baggage and learn the joys of situational morality. I mean, after all, if they didnt want you to break the rules then they wouldnt be giving you a crappy $450 a week, extended into infinity by the stimulus bill. You have a right to evade something that unfair! And evade means cash income. Under the table. Thats not so easy now, unless you like shoveling gizzards down at the poultry plant and are fluent in Michoacan-accented Spanish. But once Card Check (the Worker Freedom Act) is passed and unionization and government-mandated wage and benefit rates become mandatory most employers, even the most white-collar, will need a work force who can be hired and laid off on a casual (aka cash) basis. The taxes and work rules on regular employees will become unsupportable and employees will be happy to evade the crushing taxes themselves. Believe me, it will happen.
And one day you will be looking at that little form, with the cash you earned that week in your pocket and you will check NO to the question "did you work that week?" Who cares? Thats the beauty of situational ethics, everything is now! You can be really sorry later if, by some miracle, you get caught. But lets face it, what are the odds of that? This is the government we're dealing with, after all. In my early incarnation as a hippie, when I got laid off from my seasonal job drawing Scooby or The Jetsons at a cartoon studio, I would get my pal Mark to drop a pound of pot off at my shack in Echo Park and just sell ounces to people that I knew for a little off-the-record income. Now, I might have gotten busted by the cops for selling weed but its darned tootin' the folks at Unemployment would have never found out about it.
Is all this reading making you hungry? This compassionate country is not going to let a good citizen like you starve. Since you're on unemployment you've got all day to pull this one off. Dont go alone to any welfare office, especially if you're a male over fifty, so you have someone else to hold your place in line or listen for your name to be called while you brave the reeking crime-infested bathroom or to go outside to the taco trucks parked by the entrance. Its a good idea to do some research on the byzantine rules that govern the issuance of Food Stamps. These programs were set up to serve the illiterate and the incompetent and are relatively easy to game if you think ahead. You want to hand them a form and have a story that meets the criteria. The 'truth' is not an issue here. They dont care about it, they dont want to hear it. They just want to process your form and give you your stamps. No life story, no explanation. The less you say the better. Be drunk or incoherent. This isnt a job interview, you're here because you're a loser so act like one!
The only time I was on Food Stamps was at the beginning of the program in the late 60's. The people in the commune in the mountains of northern New Mexico I lived in took our truck to the junkyard where we purchased a few old wood-burning stoves which we put in a couple of the shacks in our little valley, one even in the teepee, even though we all cooked and ate in the main house that we had built, because Food Stamps, at that time, were given on the basis of 'households', meaning separate kitchens. Too many people in a 'household' would lower the amount each person got. They came and inspected so everybody had to know what to say. The Indians at the pueblo up the river got us up to speed on the rules. Those close-to-the-earth indigenes would all pool their Food Stamps each month, buy huge sacks of sugar that they could mix with left-over plums or apples in the fields and turn into valuable moonshine which they sold to a thirsty public. They even accepted Food Stamps for their White Lightning. So close to nature they were... These days you can probably find out what you need to know on the internet.
Remember 'Acceptamos Cupones' means your stamps will be welcome both at the cash register or in the parking lot. I used to hang out with some junkies in San Francisco who would steal t-bone steaks in grocery stores and then sell them at a big discount in the parking lot for stamps or cash. Then they would sell the stamps at a discount and go score some heroin...the only commodity in that neighborhood that you couldnt buy for Food Stamps. Friendly store owners will sell just about anything for Stamps; liquor, cigarettes, even ammo for some of you Second Amendment types. Prostitutes will have sex with you for Food Stamps. Need a gun or a hot TV set? Stamps are part of the mix. Its like a parallel currency. Once this Depression gets rolling who knows what you'll be able to buy? Cruises to the Virgin Islands, jewelry, the mind boggles.
Remember George Moscone, the mayor of San Francisco who was assassinated by Dan White? I lived near a group called 'The Foundation Of Revelation' who were convinced that God was this little Indian dude who lived over on Scott Street with his nine wives. One of God's commandments was that every election day his children would campaign for anybody Moscone told them to work for. In return some of the Foundation's 'children' were made welfare workers charged with overseeing the welfare cases of the others in the Foundation. You see, all existence is circular! Political influence is important so organize your community and you cant go wrong!
Now these are the basic programs. Promising students will graduate to advanced programs like Disability, which pays more than UI and is permanent unless you're like the disabled fireman who got busted because he won a race up the stairs to the top of the Empire State Building. Avoid this sort of publicity. Just be mellow. There's a whole new set of rules and regs coming up because the gov is about to Stalinize the health care system. If you want your Medical Marijuana or party Vicodens for free you better learn the rules carefully. Remember Lady MacBeth saying, "Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under it."? Well you should look like a total basket case but be informed and purposeful in your funky t-shirt. Your new career as a ward of the state can be fun and rewarding, make the most of it!