Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
Last week a friend of mine from El Salvador became a US citizen. Of course, to commemorate her joining the great red, white and blue horde, we celebrated with sushi. It's unprecedented that so many millions of people are now scrambling to get ahead of being deported in anticipation of a crazy President's actions. Traditionally the government comes and puts you and your family in concentration camps without much warning. Thank goodness Dump and the GOP Congress are so incompetent. It gives people time to worry and, if they're lucky, get themselves situated. Of course, even as a citizen, there's no guarantee Latins or any people of color won't suffer some kind of surprise new-fangled persecution under the nation's first white president.
My Salvadoran friend cleans houses and sells insurance. I remember how excited she was when she became certified to sell health insurance. Of course, I couldn't celebrate that. Back then she was taking not one, but two jobs from an American. Now that she is an American, those two jobs can now go to an American. As it should be.
One of the main perks of being a US citizen is that you can feel just about as entitled as a white person does. Not that you have the same racial privileges, but you can get as self- righteous as if you do. Just that simple designation, citizen, can give you an entirely new list of grievances. My friend got so outraged over immigrants coming up from Latin America, not learning the language, and stealing jobs from US citizens, she considered turning her mother over to ICE. But then she decided it would be too hard to find a new drug mule. And she couldn't in good conscience send her mother back to El Salvador, which the US prison system and deportation policies have turned into a gang-ruled land of violence of the type our white president likes to make out Chicago is.
As a citizen of a constitutional oligarchy like we have here in the States, my friend understands that she has certain responsibilities. It's not all just entitlements, free education, adequate housing, affordable health care, respectful, restrained police, no, it's none of those. Not even close. But even a government which has abrogated every social contract between itself and its citizens demands a duty from them. I forget what it is. It can't be the duty to be an informed voter. That doesn't help. It just makes you frustrated.
Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has come out against the Graham Cassidy anti- healthcare bill, and against Senator Cassidy himself for lying to Kimmel on his show. In two YouTubable videos, Kimmel lays out the problems with the bill, how it leaves more people uninsured than the ACA, how it leaves it up to the states to cap insurance payouts and deny coverage for pre-existing conditions if they feel like it, among its many other destructive aspects. So now everyone who already opposed the bill is that much better informed about why they shouldn't like it.
Fox News Channel blatherskites have taken to mocking Kimmel as just another non- expert Hollywood-type who should keep his mouth shut except when funny, non-political phrases are coming out of it. I am not here to defend Kimmel. I'm not here to praise Kimmel. I don't know what I'm here for. That's a question that has puzzled human beings since they noticed the gods would allow them to die horrible deaths no matter how many bullocks they sacrificed.
The one question I have about Kimmel is this: in his second video, his response to Cassidy's response to Kimmel's initial denunciation of Cassidy as a liar, he closed the video with a skit about a barista serving coffee in cups without bottoms. The skit wasn't funny. It died before a live studio audience. So, did the skit's unfunniness undercut Kimmel's credibility?
Clearly, Kimmel's being well-informed about how the bill would affect coverage doesn't matter. His being able to list all the health and medical organizations opposing the bill doesn't matter, either. His own personal experience as a father whose child needed open- heart surgery, which sparked his concern for those who didn't have the luck to be adequately covered for such a medical catastrophe, is also of no consequence. At least no one at Fox News Channel cares. As far as they're concerned, Jimmy Kimmel has no credibility, least of all as a well-informed or concerned citizen of the United States.
According to Fox and fiends, Kimmel's job is to be funny. And as we all know, we are nothing but our jobs. My Salvadoran-American friend is both her jobs. I'm barely half a person at the moment. I'm shirking my duty, people of the USA. I'm an under-staffer. I admit I have a problem.
This is why so many rich people busy themselves accumulating titles like Chairman of the Board or President of the United States – in order to be an important job. Or else they hide out on their yachts or private islands, cowering in their idleness and shame.
It is the duty of the US citizen to have and to be a job. Not to know anything, not to believe anything, or value anything, definitely not to march or take action for what you believe in or value. Your duty is to contribute to the wealth of the capitalists above you, regardless of your knowledge or your values, capitalists who will in turn provide your offspring and loved ones and neighbors with opportunities for servitude. It's a contract, a social contract. It's social, in that it affects everyone in your community, and it's a contract in that it contracts your possibilities and limits your imagination and your world.
But remember, you could be one of the lucky few who becomes a millionaire through ingenuity, determination and grit. There's always the chance to be a better, more impressive job here in the USA. Ask not how you can contribute to your community; ask what job you can be, above your community. Whittle your hopes into the shape of the slot that's available in the marketplace. Remember, resources are limited, at least for the vast majority of us, so dress for the job you want to be and go out and be that, or the next best thing or the next. It's all the same to the owning class. They'll get their rents and their interest and your tax dollars one way or another. Don't fret. Don't despair. The owners have your back. And your front. And your sides, your top, bottom, and innards.
Welcome aboard the poop and circuses wagon, my newly naturalized friends. Take in the remarkable sights as we continue rolling toward the cliff's edge.
This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!