Why I Bitch

06 Feb

Got a tweet tonight that has me rethinking my entire approach to this whole social networking thing and since it’s totally impossible to explain an outlook when you’re limited to 140 characters, I thought I’d take a shot at explaining situation a  little more extensively here.

What happened was that I was informed that at times I come off as being divisive.  Now I have no problem with that and yeah, I suppose I do exactly that ofttimes but it’s definitely not my reason for blogging nor is it any kind of basis for my Facebook and Twitter accounts.  I suspect that I come from an entirely different kind of background from most of my Twitter friends and I know damned well that I come from another generation and therefore from  a whole other era in American history.

I’m not as articulate as a lot of bloggers and I’m not adept at pussyfooting around any subject.  If I don’t like something then my sole intent in talking about it, be it in a tweet or a blog post is to say I don’t like it and if it’s something that I consider egregious enough I’ll include my opinion of the person that brought it about in my little discourse.

My main goal is to try present a picture that a lot of comfortable middle class folks never get to see on their big screen TV machines in between their sports spectaculars and their blockbuster movie extravaganzas and their obligatory annual vacation treks to as many of the parks and attractions as they can cram into their lifestyle driven existence .

It’s a picture that most of them don’t want to see and that makes it doubly hard because you’re made to feel like you’re intruding on their little comfort zones when you try to point out just how many people, a whole lot worse off than they are,  have to bust their asses so that they can HAVE those little zones of middle class complacency.

I know these things because for most of my adult life I WAS one of those comfortable middle class types with my modest little row house in a bedroom community and my getting to travel all over the State of California doing good deeds for folks and being hailed as a pillar of my community which I figured wasn’t bad for a guy that grew up dirt poor and whose family were dust bowl Okies blown off an original homestead in Oklahoma and making the final trek to California in Late 1945 (after Dad’s service in WWII) with Mom, Dad, me and whatever could be carried in (and on) a 1939 Plymouth sedan.

I’ve lived my entire life within 50 miles of where we first landed when we came to California.  Tulare County is one of the most productive farming counties in the entire United States consistently ranking among the top three in diversity and production.  It’s also the third poorest of California’s 58 counties in terms of median income, has an unemployment rate of over 16%  (unemployment here rose almost a percentage point at the same time it was dropping nationwide.

And of course now, I’m considered poor again, living on an $867 a month Social Security check, spending my days confined to a wheelchair hooked at various times during a day to three different kinds of machines designed to keep the breath flowing in and out, having spent the past four years waiting to be referred to a cardiovascular specialist for needed heart surgery (that I’m finally getting day after tomorrow).

Now my point in all this is not to bore you folks with my decidedly dull life story or impress anyone with my stoicism in the face of adversity.    I’m one hell of a lot better off than a lot of folks in my age group in that  I have a little subsidized apartment, money to put food on my table and I’m widowed and have nobody to look out for but me.  I actually consider myself lucky compared to a lot of the people around me.

No, my point is that yes, my view of what is and isn’t wrong with America today is skewed by a totally different set of conditions and life experiences than is that of someone who has spent their entire lives in one of those little zones I spoke about earlier.  I know damned well that we’re in a class war and that… unlike Warren Buffett…, my class is the one that’s losing.  I know for a fact that I’m not only worse off today than I was ten years ago, five years ago or even six months ago, I have a pretty clear idea of WHY that is so and of who is causing it to be so.

I’m neither a liberal nor a conservative and don’t suffer politicians of any stripe gladly, but if I have to make a choice, it’s going to be in favor of the ones that I feel will do me and my country the least amount of damage during the time they hold my fate in their hands.  I firmly believe that people who make a living by making, growing, hauling, servicing and selling a product or a service are by far superior to those who make more than they could ever need simply by moving piles of money… usually other people’s money… around and I suppose I’ll continue to say so at every opportunity.

Although I consider myself an inveterate capitalist  I totally agree with those that consider Wall Street and the version of capitalism for the masses/socialism for the few and the elite a cancer that is gnawing the vitals from  the country on a daily basis.

If I’m not as articulate as you might think I ought to be, maybe a little biased toward snark and sarcasm… hey, what can I say?  I’m not about to apologize for that.   I have no delusions that anything I write on my little 3-4 hit per day blog here is going to be read by anyone who might find themselves the subject of one of my little rants but that doesn’t alter the fact that the rant itself provides a form of catharsis even if just the relief felt at having vented.  We all need a safety valve of some kind… this is just about the only one I have left available to me.

If you got this far, thanks for bearing with me.  If you didn’t, then I have no flipping idea who I’m talking to.


Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


3 responses to “Why I Bitch

  1. julieb

    February 6, 2012 at 14:18

    Best wishes for an uneventful surgery and get well quick! We need your righteous rants.

  2. Tom Bales

    February 7, 2012 at 10:21

    Many thanks for the wishes and the kind words. It’s a relatively minor surgery… may even be home by tonight although if they do the stents today, it will probably be tomorrow. I have no intentions of not ranting, just going to pay a little more attention to substance.

  3. TC

    February 14, 2012 at 10:20

    Well written indeed.


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