Monday, October 10, 2011

Word Game


Sir, I am sorry for laughing.  I know that this is no laughing matter.  It’s just that, well, are you aware that you are the absolute master of understatement?  No, I am not exaggerating.  You are for sure the best that we have ever seen.
 
The people have taken to the streets.  There are signs that their numbers will continue to swell.  Have you really asked yourself why in the world they would leave their homes and sleep on concrete?  To be sure, some are enjoying the theater of it all.  That goes without saying.  And of course there is that old arm-in-arm camaraderie, shared by those marching for a cause.  But at the heart of it all, there is something much more serious and worrisome and real.

How does the saying go, misery loves company? Well, if they are just the tip of the old iceberg (which many of us suspect is the case), then there are quite a few miserable folks out there in the kingdom, wouldn’t you say?

Misery is an awfully good word. You should think seriously about using it. True, some of your enemies might accuse you of hyperbole. You are afraid of that, aren’t you? Were you to utter that word, some of your enemies might stick you with it.  Remember when that happened with malaise?  That was a bit before your time, but you are a student of history.

Some would blame you for causing the misery, and others for at least failing to cure it. That’s what enemies do. And your enemies will do that in spades. Your enemies want you gone.  Your enemies want you humbled, discredited, even humiliated.  Your enemies are eager to gloat.

And, that is where the no-small-matter of courage comes into play. 

Sir, it was most disingenuous of you to characterize these people, in the streets – your people – as being frustrated. Frustrated?

I am frustrated when a pull-top breaks off and I can’t open the cat food can.  I am frustrated when I can’t keep the squirrels off of my bird feeder.  I am frustrated when I can’t get a signal on my cell phone.  I am frustrated…well, you get the picture.

Frustration?  Sir, you can and must do better than that.  Frustration is so 2009!

Let’s stop and count the homes that have been lost, the careers that have evaporated, and the futures that have been derailed.  Let’s, for a moment, consider the mountains upon mountains of misery.  Would it be so terribly out of character for you to use real words?  Words like anger, or even rage.  Words like despair and fear, or phrases like scared to death? 

Because, that’s the stuff that is filling the streets. You know that, don’t you?

You know damn well that the game they were playing – the game that always was more or less honest – somehow became rigged.  It was stolen by people high up in those buildings, standing in the windows, and laughing like hell at all of us, including you.

Back when the game was more or less honest, and the rules were more or less fair, there were lots of winners. Hard work and sacrifices usually paid off. Combinations of risk and creativity and resourcefulness just might hit the jackpot.  

You don’t owe anyone a home, or a job, or a business, or a jackpot, but you do owe them a seat at a table with a clean deck of cards.  No, we are not na├»ve.  We know that you cannot just wave your hand and make that happen.  But you can shake a fist in front of the faces – those well tanned, over-fed, contemptuous faces -- of those in the bonus-no-matter-what club who mock us and mock you.

And you can call them by their name – their real name.  You can call them thieves. You can say loudly and clearly that the ring of con men who so cleverly sold us blue smoke blown into so many tiny, unnoticeable, tightly sealed boxes were quite simply gangsters without guns.

Why not say it?  Who or what is holding you back? 

Is it the loyal opposition? The other side, who so underestimated you (God, we hope they did) that they marshaled their forces in the most insulting manner. They sent in the clowns. They sent in imbeciles who do not read and did not bother to learn history. They sent in a slick salesman who knows how to sell what the market demands, and who will quickly and smoothly switch his product-offering the very moment the market demands something else.

Where do you think that leaves us? 

Sir, it leaves us with you, and your words which, I was about to say, are disappointing. 

But disappointment is so 2010.