A Plead to the 100%, Does Anyone Else See These “Demons”?

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A Plead to the 100%, Does Anyone Else See These “Demons”? Empty A Plead to the 100%, Does Anyone Else See These “Demons”?

Post by The Broken Dream on Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:24 am

A Plead to the 100%, Does Anyone Else See These “Demons”?

I have monsters inside me, much like you all. I have demons I fight on a daily basis, some internal, some physical. Some small, some large, some life threatening, others petty. I am unsure I can defeat these demons collectively, but I joined this movement so that I could help ensure that no one else must resign to the same bleak fate, and this is an essay to beg you to understand why.

For the purpose of anonymity, I refrain from the specifics that may identify me, as I am ashamed of many of these demons, and to be made known publicly to my friends and family would crush me.

- The Grizzly Demon

This is a demon whom manifests himself as a man that I affectionately call “The Mandarin Bum”. He’s a homeless fellow that I often run into during the typical week. I won’t lie, I know very little of him outside my personal experience. He rolls newspaper into small cylinders and smokes it as though it was a cigarette. He refuses to bath and relieves himself publicly, and is just not a person I generally wish to smell, none the less stand near. The only time I’ve ever talked to him was when he kindly, and coherently, asked to bum a smoke, which I quickly handed over to expedite his departure.

I have no problem with this sort of transaction. He wants something basic that I have plenty of, and I would simply look like a monster if I told him to get a job. It’s socially unacceptable to not be philanthropic on some basic level. However, I have a strict policy that I don’t give out cash. Why not?

I simply don’t believe you broke down a mile away and need gas. That makes you a menace to my wallet, as well as a liar, and you’re sure as hell not getting my hard earned money. Besides, who knows what you’ll really spend it on, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes… Wait a minute…

I’m willing to personally hand over a nicotine fix (roughly .30 per cigarette) knowing that you can’t do anything with that other than smoke it, but not a dollar which could go towards the same cause? Hell, that dollar could go towards basic necessities such as an apple or a new pair of undies! I’m very confused on this issue. Should I blame substance abuse and call for prohibition? Should I blame laziness for not getting a job when he’s clearly unsuited for even a basic manual labor job? Should we chalk it up to being dealt a bad hand, then ignore him until he withers away? I find it hard to believe that we simply can’t come up with a solution to this man’s (and his nose clamped communities!) plight but that we can have the solutions for fixing deep sea oil spills or even tri-corder like instruments that all start with the letter “i”!

This is my Grizzly Demon, and I fight him almost every day. Seeing him sends pangs of guilt down my spine. I want to give him something but can’t afford to give him enough of anything of mine to make a difference. I watch as others around us avoid eye contact. I wonder if they’re thinking the same thing. I hope for the sake of humanity that they are. Even if it’s just a slight acknowledgement that the wrong in the world is standing right in front of them, gag inducing stench, misshaped hands, black teeth, and all. I plead that someone else sees this for the inhumanity that it is.

-My Blue Demon

This demon is blue due to the abstract color assignment given to infants at birth by the hospital. He manifests himself in the form of my pride. Not to say the fairer sex has less pride, but I closely identify my pride with the typical American male parenting and role models. The pride that exemplifies independence, determination, and success. The pride that vilifies asking for help, emotional break downs, and failure.

You see, I am a 20 something college graduate. Like many in my demographic, I have worked very hard to make something of this life. Countless hours have been spent with my nose in a thick text books, even more working customer service jobs on the same caliber as a burger flipper. All this to strive for independence, to not have to rely on anyone’s help while educating myself for that better future I was always promised. But it was never quite enough to pay both the bills and the tuition. My father, dedicated to his role of supplying a decent education and future for me, stepped in without my consent. He twisted my arm into helping here and there, picked up numerous semester’s worth of tuitions, wouldn’t charge me for my share of the car insurance a couple of times. At first I resented this as an affront to my pride and independence. But I soon realized that his pride was more experienced and backed with nothing but my best interest, so I slowly stopped arguing with him over it. I wish now that I wasn’t so complacent.

Unbeknownst to the both of us, he was getting these funds from the enticing low interest loans, and freed up more cash by refinancing the mortgage of the house my brother and I grew up in. Things were on the up and up back then, we worked hard and even bought a few nice toys. I went to CompUSA as a profitable 18 year old sandwich maker who needed a laptop for school. Sure enough, my untouched credit report allowed for a shiny new Toshiba Satellite. With the right payments, I’d own it and cut up the credit card in a year.

I forget the details now; perhaps I partied a bit too late to make it to the bank on a Saturday, or was that the time I had to be rushed to the hospital for a fractured foot? Regardless, for some reason or another, I missed a single payment on the credit card. I thought nothing of it at the time really, I went in the following Monday and paid twice the normal to show I wasn’t trying to play keep away, but the parents were already told. My interest rate sky rocketed to 24% and I was completely oblivious to it. The next few months I paid my normal amount, but noticed my balance wasn’t changing much. I looked into it a bit deeper and then the panic hit me. Much like the feeling you get with two weeks of summer break left and you haven’t told your parents about that huge project you’re supposed to bring in on the first day of class. The dread of asking for help with a problem that is simply out of your capability to handle alone. The shame for having to even ask for help in the first place.

My father paid off the remaining balance with one majestic swoop of his money pen and check book. He smiled his crocodile smile, the one he reserves for when a lesson has been learned the hard way, and says “The laptop is now half mine”. The lesson he taught me was a crucial one, one that resonates in my essence still, one that shames me still. Don’t fall behind, as the lions pick off the weak and he won’t always be there to fend them off. But then the lions came for him.

My father was laid off from the company he worked with for over 25 years. He calmly explained, as the head of the house hold, that everything was fine. That he received a severance package that was equal to a third his yearly salary. That with his experience, education, and obvious loyalty, he’d be hired within the month. Five months later he was less sure as he reluctantly filed for unemployment without the family’s knowledge. But my father, he’s mastered a trick that can only be mastered in the customer service industry. He’s an actor of high renown, his praises sung loud in Actor heaven. You politicians could use a lesson or two from him, he was so convincing that everything was fine. So I didn’t ask him. He was so sure he had it handled, I dared not question his wisdom.

He is expecting the bank to pull up with a van any day now. I’ve cried at night thinking of the loss of dignity he’ll experience on that day. What’s worse, he says it could be tomorrow, or it could be three months from now. It’s the anticipation before pulling the band-aid. The falter in the starting run to jump into the cold pool. The moments leading up to the apex of the roller coaster.

This is my Blue Demon, and I fight him every day. The pride that wouldn’t permit me to ask for help when the situation is out of my hands. The pride I obviously inherited from my father. I want to tell people this story, but I get yelled out of conversations for not having read the fine print. My father is discussed amongst the neighbors as the man who bought a house out of his league. I want people to know the truth. Even if it’s just a slight acknowledgement that the wrong in the world is standing right in front of them, a typical nuclear family paying their taxes, working hard for their bread, and soon to be put on the street. I plead that someone else sees this for the inhumanity that it is.

-My Green Demon

This demon is one I live with every second of every day. Green, the color of envy, the color of the dollar, the color of growth, and the color of go. Every day this demon is inside me, next to me, pushing me onward to find my greatest potential. Every day this demon steals more and more of my identity. Forces me to cut my hair a particular way, ensures my car is full of gas, that I’m there by nine. This demon keeps a close eye on my wallet, a firm grip on my bank account, and never lets me forget that he expects to be fed constantly. I basically live my life for him, he is my “42”. I’ve been indoctrinated to think that it was my wishes to graduate and become prosperous, but that was his dream all along. I thought that if I fed this demon enough, he’d wink and lay out the map to true happiness. Instead he set my GPS for a long drive on a short bridge. This demon, much like his brothers, is not often talked of because it has become taboo in our society. To suggest his very existence is to be called a communist, un-American, lazy, scum of the earth. To suggest another option is to be called a radical, hippy, ignorant, and just plain ignored.

This demon scathes at nay-sayers via opinion pieces by experts who know very well what they’re doing. This demon pushes the leaders of our world in certain directions for his own agenda. This demon tricks others into doing his bidding for him, defending him with their dying breath. This demon is masked in thousands of years of red tape. He stays alive through tradition and reminiscing of the good ole days. He is empowered by fear of change, but surely has fatal cancer. This is a demon whom must be carefully dealt with, for this demon can take many down with him when he goes.

This is my Green Demon, and I fight him every second. Is this demon capitalism? Is this demon the monetary system? Is this demon greed? Is this demon simply the acknowledgement of the Grizzly Demon, but the lack of care? Does this demon depend on the Blue Demon to make you trip so he can pull you into the shadow where no one cares if you then become another instance of the Grizzly Demon? I want people to be able to talk about this demon. Even if it’s just a slight acknowledgement that the wrong in the world is sitting right in their palm, a dollar that you could easily lose in the washer but could feed a family for a day, the gold standard we rely on that is scientifically a useless metal, the CEO’s making profits through compound interests like loan sharks with the law on their side, the harassing collection calls when you can’t afford to replace your car battery that’s almost dead, the abhorrent standards of living created by natural disasters, the fast food that is killing americans that can’t afford to eat any healthier than the dollar menu, and the police officer who is laid off in the height of a crime spree. I plead that someone else sees this for the inhumanity that it is.

I simply want to talk about these things and not be ostracized. I want to express these concerns and not worry about obscenities flung from my neighbor. These are issues that I feel are oppressed and ignored because it’s “Not the American way.” But I was taught that Bushido was a Japanese code of ethics, and I do not wish to see this country kamikaze if we can avoid doing so by being more tolerant. I beg that everyone stops yelling. Occupy Wall Street took to the streets to get attention to the issues at hand, because they were ignored for so long. This is a clear and cut case of a peaceful version of Marx’s proletarian revolt, but I do not want to see another Soviet Union or North Korea. I would be labeled a socialist for sure, but communism is not an option in my head. Please, acknowledge that this is a dying system, 10 years passed due for a tune up, and not many more until its final kick as it is now. If you talk about this essay to someone who has read it, be sure to say “cow bell” somewhere, or else they’ll know you didn’t read it all and that you just gave up after I said capitalism was dying. It’ll make you look rather silly and prove the point that people won’t keep their minds open to change. Fear of change is natural, keeps us from taking too large of steps. But we don’t want to start running, we just want to talk. Please join us in this national conversation, for the sake of all humanity.

-My One Wish to T.E.D.: Open the global conversation that the world is currently in violation of The Geneva Convention’s ethics code “Inhumane treatment of 99% of the population”.

TL:DR – My attempt to shape reality and the future towards a world that would produce a Jean-Luc Picard.

-The Aftermath of A Broken, American Dream.

The Broken Dream

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Post by Squeoo on Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:29 am

This was extremely well written, and i have mine as well. I'm a supporter of the venus project, and i hate what this society can do to people.


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Post by ZachAddair on Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:38 pm

I understand everything here so well. I've been so depressed and so anxious for so long, and this movement has shown me that I'm not alone. In fact, we are all the 99% and we all see that society is broken and WE are broken and confused.

I'm so happy to be here at least doing SOMETHING.

ps. This clip sums up so much of my feelings of American life:


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