Over the transom more fish come thanks to Ishmael.... and damn that water is cold! -- Ed
Some people out there believe we can vote our way out of this. These optimistic folks have been under a rock for the past few years or haven’t noticed clown world.
If you are one of those people who keeps on voting, that’s your business. I am not going to convince you voting is pointless anymore than you’re going to convince me that I should get off my ass and vote for a different douchebag this time.
The happy-fun reason we aren’t voting our way out of this is because a self-perpetuating failure cycle has already been established. I'm not sure if this was deliberately achieved by earthly powers, or whether they took advantage of it.
I struggled articulating my thoughts about the self-perpetuating cycle into something coherent and finally gave up because it doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t matter for a very chilling reason. After thinking through the implications, dread about immigration, rising crime, and more inflation took a backseat to the insight. Yes, a self-destructive country that slowly decays is the optimistic alternative.
The problems we face now, and they are real and considerable, will be taken care of. Of that I have no doubt. We will not like the solution at all.
The reason we aren’t voting our way out of this hit me in a flash, like all the best (and worst) ideas do. After it did, I sat and thought for a long while. Then I closed this draft and didn’t open it for 10 days.
The old American social contract has been completely and utterly broken.
One aspect of the old social contract was protecting the young at the expense of the old. While there have always been selfish assholes among us, older generations used to sacrifice for the good of their children and grandchildren. The past three years put the final nail in that coffin.
The lockdowns were initially sold on the premise that we were saving grandma. Instead, we destroyed young people who had part-time jobs and no savings. Then we killed grandma deliberately. There was no trade-off, both young and old people’s lives were ruined. The generational tenent was bulldozed.
We are not done destroying this aspect of the social contract yet. To bring it back to the original topic, young people tend to support and vote for liberal causes. Thanks to declining fertility rates (for absolutely no reason at all), we will have a shortage of young people in the coming years. If you think about this like the average Republican politician, this is great news! There will be a higher percentage of conservative voters in 18 years!
Not only did we violate an existing social contract, we obliterated the chance to make it right in the future. Many of that future generation will never be born.
Speaking of first jobs, another social contract tenet was respect for labor. That’s gone now. Quaint notions such as employer/employee loyalty have been on their way out for years. At one point, a young man could reasonably expect to work for one company his entire career and retire with a nice nest egg. He worked hard for the company, and in return the company took care of him.
Never in my working life has this been the case with large companies. Smaller companies still show loyalty to their employees, and that is wonderful. After the past three years, only the most willfully ignorant believe a mega corp will show them anything other than pure contempt.
It began with outsourcing. Entire divisions were fired and work sent overseas. And in a tremendous “fuck you”, employees were required to train their own replacements. Some lucky folks got hired back at lower salaries and longer hours to correct all the problems the foreigners created.
But that was amateur hour compared to what clown world vomited up in the past three years. Everybody still remember vax mandates? So many people lost their jobs because they refused to play Russian roulette. Other people chose poorly and died, or had their health nosedive.
Previous guest Tickers have stated the psychological toll this inflicted on individuals and “we the people.” Basically, the American work ethic has been destroyed for at least the next decade. Many of us have lasting psychological damage from the abuse. We as individuals can recover, but it will take time. “We the people” will not recover until individuals do.
All that is bad enough, but the next act turns really dark: There's a depression looming. Mass layoffs are coming, whether anyone likes it or not.
Let’s look at someone, call her Heather, who feared she did not have enough savings to maintain a decent lifestyle if she lost her job. Heather felt trapped and was willing to do anything for her paycheck.
Heather played roulette and lost the clottery. She is still alive and able to work. Yet now she has new health problems and new medical bills. She can't afford to lose her health insurance. Her boss knows she will work Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and late on her kids' birthdays. There is no social contract that rewards her loyalty by taking care of her because she was injured fulfilling a job requirement. Instead, Heather is one step above a slave.
Ironically, had she taken the “fuck you” path and quit her job, she would be a free woman today. She would still be healthy, and she would have survived and found a way to flourish. That’s what Heather has done her entire life, the psychological abuse over the past two years made her forget it for a time.
She already made one bad decision, now she has to keep her exploitative job to pay for the damage. When layoffs loom, she will work harder at the expense of her health for one more month of medical treatment, and her boss knows it.
How do you think Heather feels right now? How many Heathers are out there?
And we finally come to the revelation that was so dark I had to step away for a while: Heather is Gen X.
Do you remember Gen X (1964-1979)? Gen X is smaller than the Boomers (the later half of which is called Jones, and they are relevant) and Millennials. Gen X is pretty much ignored. And they like it that way. The entire generation has slipped from society's collective unconsciousness.
Their entire working lives, they've been putting noses to the grindstone, bootstrapping themselves, solving problems, and quietly doing what needs to be done. In fact, they are the last generation that is capable of “getting ahead” en masse. Compared to the younger generations, Gen X has it pretty good.
Most of this guest Ticker has nothing to do with voting, so why did I leave in the first few paragraphs?
I am Gen X and so are my friends Mike and his wife Heather. And thanks in part to a violated social contract, their lives are changed. Do you think I give a fuck about voting when both parties enabled vaccine mandates?
To everybody telling me to vote anyway: you want my ass glued to the couch. I will rise already reloading from the third box. The first two proved woefully inadequate.
I don’t want this, nobody sane does.
I am Gen X. It will be my generation that ends clown world. Heads up to Generation Jones (1954-1964), we’re tagging you in, too.
This has nothing to do with what a fantastic generation we are, we aren’t. It’s a matter of timing. We are simply the best age to do it. Most of our children are out of the house, or will be soon. We are young enough that we still have the stamina and energy to see the war through. Most of us have memories of and still believe in the old social contracts. We remember so we can rebuild it.
Gen X is the older generation.
Gen Y (1979-1985), Millennials, and younger have no business fighting this war. They need to have large families and raise the next generation in peace. Gen X must protect them so they can.
Very soon we will reach a point where clown world cannot be ended in a nonviolent fashion.
Among Gen Xers, a huge percentage are ready to burn this mother fucker to the ground. We're not happy about it, it just seems inevitable. As much as we'd like to save our beautiful country for our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I don’t see it happening.
But we honor the old social contract: we sacrifice ourselves so younger generations have a better life, and have a chance to be born.
We have to destroy clown world so those still capable of having children can build back better. Not political posturing bullshit better, but a fundamental change in the way we all live.
That previous scenario implies a cheerful outcome: after a war something resembling non-clown world America develops. Gen X is equally likely to produce an Austrian. No matter which way things go, no one is going to like the widespread destruction getting there.
When thousands of Heathers lose their jobs and the Mikes can’t afford her medical treatments, not all of them will peacefully enjoy the time they have left. That will be as much warning as any of us gets before Clown Wars begins. It’s up to us as individuals whether we stay on the couch or rise.