If you haven't already, go over to the Ornery Bastard for BK's post on charity. He puts it out there like no one else can. It's real, it's succinct, and it's raw...just the way it has to be. No flowery verse, no pussyfooting around; just wholesale truth, naked and impertinent.
The kind of truth that gets served to you when you fuck up.
Well, we fucked up. This country is in a tailspin and thousands of our neighbors are in a fucking sinkhole. Good people, damn good people of every color, shape, religion, and status are swirling around the bowl like the last turd. What are we doing about it?
I watched President Obama's speech yesterday and I was moved. Not because it was a rousing barnburner or the greatest oratory since Lincoln at Gettysburg; no, I was taken by it's simplicity. He spelled out what the fuck is going on with the economy, what he plans to do about it and why. He is telling us 'Why'. When was the last time a president went on national television to tell us in plain ol' fucking english why he's doing something? Certainly not in the last eight years.
Busted Knuckles saw shit happening in his community and, instead of walking back into his house, plopping in front of the TV and saying "that's too bad. Those were nice people", he went over and gave them a hand up. It wasn't much but it was huge. A few cans of goods, a meal shared, that's all it takes. You see your neighbors suffer and you lend a hand. Anything to make their pain go away even if for only a short time.
That's how we will get back up to where we were. The only way to get out of this toilet bowl is to grasp hold of your neighbor's hand and crawl the fuck out. We can't count on the government to do it alone. the president said as much yesterday. He will put things right in Washington, we need to put things right in our hometowns. The programs he's put forth will have an effect but that's a ways down the road. For now, it's up to us.
Right now, if you've been holding your gut and watching the nimrods on Fox spewing about their 'teabagging' bullshit, you know that there are some folks in our communities that just don't get it. These are the fucks that sit on the porch and cuss at the paperboy. They see foodbanks and community service groups as 'socialist hotbeds of Liberal Fascists' or 're-education centers for the indoctrination of our youth' .
You can't connect with these people, I'm afraid they're gone too far up the rectum of the Right. There's no way to bring them back. The best way we can deal with them is to keep one eye open and move on. Watchdogs like David Neiwert will keep the hounds at bay with his investigative spotlight.
So, there you have it. You want to get out of this mess? Do you want to get back to the good times? Tired of paying $600 dollars in bills with $400 every damn fucking month? Then get involved.
"Unity in things necessary, liberty in things doubtful, charity in everything." Anonymous
Here are some places to start:
Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest)
Grow your own. Find a spot. Get a box. Even on your deck, you can grow something. Yes we can!
Community Service. Get out of your fucking house and talk to your neighbors. Get to know them, find out what they need and do what you can to help. Get your children involved so they can start on the road to giving of themselves. That's a damn sight better than those ipod-grasping, twittering, cellphone texting, bullshit yuppie spawn that herd up over at the mall.
Be Aware! Keep your eyes open to the bullshit that's being flung by the Right. This 'teaparty' bullshit is just the start. After it fizzles in the rain, their frustration will grow. When hundreds, not thousands of people show up the ridicule will be intense. They won't take it very well. We have to be ready for anything.
I'm not saying anything that we don't already know. BK just did what had to be done and we take note of it 'cause it has to be noticed. This shit should be second nature, no big thing, just part of living in America. But it's not and that's a damn shame. But we can bring it back. BK mentioned his grandparents' experience in the Great Depression. We all have those stories in our families.
In mine, my mother talks about going to the orchards in the fall and picking up apples off the ground. The trees were off limits but the orchardist would let folks pick up the fruit that fell. As a boy in the 30's, Dad had to go live with his uncle on the Colville Reservation because my grandparents were too poor to live as a family. Grandma lived with her brother and his family and Grandpa lived in a row house with fellow loggers. But they got together on Sunday to eat as a family. Today, Dad grows a hell of a garden and makes sure that all the food is taken. What they don't eat, they give to the food bank.
You would think that people who grew up without much would be greedy and selfish. I haven't found that to be the case. The most greedy, selfish people I know had it all as kids. They wanted for nothing, had grand birthday parties, cars for their 16th and free ride to college. Those folks would kick a man to take his last dime. They are Republicans.
We start now and by the height of summer we will have made a difference in people's lives. Community service is contagious. It spreads like wildfire when it comes from the heart. Even those with nothing can find something to give.
It's Stone Soup.
So Mote It Be,