It’s A Quad Thing; You Might Not Understand
This is my current dilemma: I often write as an emotional release from the stress and anxiety of the current political drama that has international intrigue... but I also write because I am unable to deny the desires of my Muse, whose intentions I will not understand within the restrictions of my terrestrial confinement (incarceration?).
I am, after all, unable to directly affect any political outcome, and any emotional outcry against it is as meaningless and as insignificant as a tiny drip of sunshine-mist that egoistically surfs with the exhilaration of a majestic demigod on a tsunamic solar flare that is radish-screamingly careening towards an insignificant grain of sand that is innocuously floating in the vastness of space... and that grain of sand is the planet Earth.
I should be objectively recording history as it happens... sans emotion, although...
I vacillate between anger and disappointment for the people I love who grasp so desperately to the image of protecting their own privilege above community especially when I’d be doing the exact same thing if I were in their shoes. I am, after all, a recovering Capitalist. I once very strongly believed that racism was slowly dying... I was unintentionally yet culpably blind to the insidious systemic exploitation of anyone who strongly disagreed that the status quo is inequitable.
I arrogantly forced myself to believe that not only was the Capitalistic pursuit of excessive materialistic acquisition the most noble pursuit in life but that it is available for EVERYBODY on the planet... ev-er-y-fuck-ing body... if they are pure of heart... well, at least pure enough to qualify for special privileges that we, the benefactors of the unjustified privilege, have tacitly enjoyed while surreptitiously manipulating our once irrevocable ecumenical responsibilities to accept the overt fallacies that actually contradict the justification for our privileges.
I was once nearly militantly aggressive in my insistence that our nation's form of government was perfect and that any flaws were of human error... more specifically, I had convinced myself that I deserved the privileges that I enjoyed because either I was morally superior in the eyes of a false god or the people who suffered penury were morally delinquent and thereby had earned their sad situation through some Karmic justice even though I really don’t understand the idiosyncrasies of that spiritual philosophy. I didn’t work too hard to discredit the justification of the
three strikes and you're out
policing throughout the later part of the 20th century, citing the mantra that even if
were innocent of any certain malfeasance, they’d almost always do something illegal later.
Basically, I was an unabashed Capitalist, and I was only enlightened after the corporation I trusted to adhere to its "family values" suddenly went into its business mode, i.e. they decided that "Uncle Rusty" needed to be sent to an assisted living facility while venerable "Daddy Warbucks," i.e. TSYS’s senior officers... all of ‘em... actually turned out to be like "Vito Corleone" and decided that the benefits that the corporation had received by hiring me had been exhausted... I was no longer needed for a
story. I went from being useful to becoming "Tiny Tim" (who gave the company a great publicity moment in 1985 or ʻ86... sorry, donʼt exactly remember... when I earned
Handicapped Employee of the Year
for the city of Columbus, Georgia, The Fountain City and my hometown... was even given a nice plaque that was presented by Mayor Bobby Peters...).
However, the economy turned really sour in '08, and corporate slackers feared for their jobs... I became a scapegoat. The minor advantages that I provided through my employment by the international corporation were no longer justification for my remaining a member of their corporate family.
Marijuana Flashback Warning... [cue harp music]
The story of my ʻwinningʼ the microcosmic, i.e. insignificant
Cripple of the Year
award is yet another allegoric fable of Picayune Capitalistic Superfluity, i.e. the kind of negative energy one has to accept and thereby endure when the bigger pictureʼs fatuous benefits begin to wane but are still agreeable enough to fully support acquiescence to the inequitable nature of the current corporate agenda.
I was working at TSYS as a computer programmer. Although not my vocation, it was a relatively easy job and, at that time in my life, seemed like my most accessible path towards achieving The American Dream regardless of the flaws I’ve discovered in retrospect; however... I was a computer programmer who was, and is... still... unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living, and, at the time, my employment as a person who is completely paralyzed, in and of itself, was fairly unique... not many quadriplegics were exposed to the diurnal responsibilities of a lifestyle that projects exclusively positive connotations of corporate largess...
The handicapped population still isn't recruited enough for corporate inclusion, although I foresee a time in the very near future when all humans with disabilities, mental and physical, will be able to share in a global economy that can afford to allow all citizens a more equitable distribution of the excessive wealth that seems to have been siphoned to the top of the economic pyramid where only an insignificant minority can experience the specious advantages that allow them leniency with regards to an overtly expressed spiritual identity that they, the economic elite (sans empathy... well, for some), can ignore yet can, somehow, histrionically declare necessary for everyone else to obey... with ovine sequacity, i.e. the ‘elite’ of society can break the rules, yet they also expect everyone else to abide by them with fatal consequences, and they break the rules with impunity.
So, again, I was at work... had only been a computer programmer for three or four years, but, if my memory is correct, I had just completed a pretty special project for the company.
I shan’t go into great detail in my explaining... it is too boring... but I completed a project that the company had been wanting for some time; although, not a major enough programming project to devote the best programmers to solving. Still, the company had allocated some of their more advanced programmers to solve the problem, but they failed.
Seems to me that TSYS merely wanted to make me a token crippled boy, i.e. an overtly handicapped member of society that the benevolent corporation with family values could hold up as a shining example of its benevolence while obscuring the realization that the hierarchy has been exploiting the system for personal wealth acquisition, which is never enough to satisfy their Sardanapalian appetites. Unfortunately, I remembered that I am merely a jester, a ‘toking’ crippled boy who abhors the corporate life even though I, too, was trying... but failed... to exploit its inequitable system for personal gain. Anyway...
I had just completed a fairly significant project that had anybody else succeeded in coding, anybody who
like a corporate lackey, then they would have been given more interesting and complex programming assignments; instead, I was merely left alone to graze peacefully in the meadows of indifference. The
Cripple of the Year
award was, in my opinion, a way to recognize my contribution without allowing me a larger piece of the corporate pie simply because I wasn’t corporate material, i.e. I had long hair and a more progressive attitude that was emphasized by my writing vitriolic op-eds in our local paper against George W[ar Criminal] Bush and his administration of cutthroat thugs who used #SouthernStrategy to maintain nefarious political power. I was a progressive thinker working in the Red Sea of conservative illusions, so I was unworthy of corporate appanage, but I digress...
So I am at my desk in front of a dummy terminal (that was ubiquitous in the ’90s) when my phone rings. It was the local newspaper asking me a question about the award, which I had hitherto never even heard of, so I thought it was joke. Jeff and I joked incessantly before he got married.
Anyway, I finally told the caller that even if I did get nominated for an award, I didn’t have transportation for the ceremony that was in a few days. I had been using the public transportation program called Dial-A-Ride, which is a wonderful program that allows public transportation for customers with special needs, only its director started using her power as a source of personal pride, and she liked to make things as inconvenient for me as possible. The reasons why don’t really matter, but it seems that some people do not like to see handicapped people succeed, especially the mentally handicapped, because the major successes by folks who have disabilities makes the mediocre successes in the lives of average people seem like overt failures in comparison, but I digress...
Ultimately, the reporter on the phone called whoever was in charge of the award, probably someone in the Mayor’s office, and shit happened: Dail-A-Ride picked me up during their off time (the ceremony was during the evening when MARTA was closed), and I was presented the award with the fanfare appropriate for the corporation... the public got a glimpse of its community involvement.
Basically, I was used by corporate and governmental agendas as a way for them to demonstrate their softer side towards humanity and its proclivity to feel empathy for those of us who are vulnerable to the status quo. Hopefully, my newsletter
will chronicle the different ways I, and folks of my ilk, are used by society but then when we are no longer able to contribute as successfully to their illusory benevolence, we are gently sent out to pasture or some other metaphoric equivalent (a victim of downsizing, a grateful recipient of early retirement, a nursing home?).
Hopefully, I will be able to tell the story about Bobby Peters, the aforementioned mayor of Columbus, Georgia, and how he was gracious enough to invite me to the grand opening of our fair city’s brand sparkling new public transportation bus transfer station, a very expensive public works project. Unfortunately, the facility was built without a wheelchair ramp. I had to be manually assisted into the building, and the mayor was pissed.
Yeah, these and other stories are what I want to expose to the universe, a way to tell stories that can only be told by a person who reached a certain level of success before the insidious destructive nature of maintaining the status quo quickened his failure, a story that is fairly unusual simply because many other victims of paralysis do not have the advantages that I have been fortunate enough from which to benefit: family and friends who actively support my pursuits of happiness.
Peace Through Music
 My winning this rather insignificant award is superfluous to my personal Life's journey; although, I am proud that I could give some people that I love, and who have sacrificed... even the people in my life who have been inconvenienced even just a bit... a little gratitude that they deserve; however, it was merely another sparkly award for the company to boast over when shareholders gather together to discuss how to better exploit Capitalism in its current state so that they can live lives of egregious opulence. Itʼs this kind of ambivalence that keeps subjugated partners to remain in relationships that are borderline acceptable... but I digress...
 Unfortunately, this 'elitist' attitude has
into the mindset of a nearly insignificant faction of our society that leans more towards its instinctual, atavistic nature sans intellectual enticement. Recently, a bigot ran down a peaceful protester in his car... he actually murdered a woman in her thirties. Regardless of the reasons for this unconscionable act, the perp broke the laws of driving yet expects everyone else to obey traffic laws... the acceptance of privilege isn't exclusive to the excessively wealthy. Hell, I am the paragon of 'white privilege.' If I weren't a white boy with a collegiate degree from Mercer University, I would never have had the opportunity to experience trying to make a go at the Corporate Life; unfortunately, the experiment failed... I, a corporate 'family member,' was downgraded to 'unemployed' in order to keep the company's hierarchy egregiously wealthy, but I digress...
 If I didn't complete this particular programming project at this time, I did complete it somewhere around this time. Point is that my programming skills
to have been better than average and, thereby, worthy of some recognition... I simply don't care enough to investigate. At this point in my terrestrial space-time manifestation, I was only working so that I could afford to sing jazz with my friend Jeff Smith and with every other Jazzonian I've met and cherished along the way. I was, after all, young and relatively healthy. I even dreamed of failing in love with my 'soul mate' whom I met, but that, too, did not pan out. Once again, I digress...