Being Right That The World Is Burning Down Kind of Sucks

A lot of people who are right are fucking crazy nuts:

But not a condition that has to; indeed, this is why all the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament were not organizational men. Stephen, the first martyr, got enough people mad at him to get stoned to death for his trouble of speaking the truth (which is all that prophesy is). Jeremiah constantly cried to God to relieve him of the stress of being a prophet. Ezekiel reads like he found some funny mushrooms there on the banks of the Chabar, and clearly suffered the torments of the damned on more than one occasion. Hosea took a whore for a wife, and named his children after Israel’s most prominent sins, all to make a point. Amos averred he was simply a dresser of sycamore trees. None of these guys lead a movement or administered an organization. Which is ultimately the problem, of course.

Because if your job is bailing out the be-cannon-holed boat that is the world, not only do your arms get tired but the minute you start asking why on earth you’re doing this is the minute you start seeing stuff and talking to yourself. It’s the oldest story on earth, trying to do something nice only to get kicked in the nuts for it, repeatedly, and the scariest thing isn’t that your kickers are right and you’re crazy, it’s that you’re sane and they might win anyway. I talk about this all the time: Convinced you have a destiny and thwarted in it, the most horrifying thought is not that you are deluded but that you are not. You let yourself be talked out of saving the world when you could have done it. What kind of fucking moron does that? Get off your ass! You have poor people to feed!

Be sure to follow the link toJake T. Snake’s post over at Whiskey Fire. During the holidays I kind of mentally check out of blog world even when I’m not running two fundraising drives at once while baking for an army, so I miss a lot of stuff, but Jake’s post should be shoved up the mental asshole of every single person who every shied away from giving five bucks to charity on the grounds that it’s better spent at motherfucking Starbucks. I’m not kidding, this kind of shit makes me HULK SMASH kind of pissed. As Jake says, it’s exhausting:

Our local social services department actually hired fraud investigators at the same time that it was laying off child protective workers demonstrating conclusively where our values lie and how genuinely mean spirited we are as a people. At the federal level Social Security routinely denies people eligible for benefits in the hopes that they will not reapply. Many people who receive benefits must hire a lawyer before social security will concede that they are indeed eligible. As the resources have become more limited, the level of scrutiny and inhumanity has risen accordingly.

The scrutiny is what always gets me. Always on the alert, we are, for fraud and waste and corruption everywhere but the top fucking tax bracket. Always want to make sure our annual five bucks for the poor isn’t being misused. Always quick to suggest something, anything, other than us fucking helping out a little bit more, always eager to offer advice as we put the checkbook away. Just clip some coupons, we say. Apply for a grant. Sell some bling. There’s got to be something you can do other than bothering me by being poor and, you know, in my sight line. Go away. I’ve given you the benefit of my wisdom, isn’t that enough?

It’s exhausting because who deserves what is so far from the goddamned point it takes a telescope to see the point at all. Somehow in the past half a century or so we have completely overburdened the recipients of generosity with all the pressure to be deserving, and entirely removed the givers from the same. Does so and so or such and such deserve your charity? Do you deserve to be charitable? That might be a better question.


7 thoughts on “Being Right That The World Is Burning Down Kind of Sucks

  1. Amen.
    Maybe your next grant proposal should be a modest one. Ask for 500 billion – there are less strings

  2. Fewer strings, that is. Hey it is 6:25 – and I’ve been up since 2 – something about reliving 2008 didn’t sit well with me.
    Happy New Year, A

  3. A…
    I’m with lb… and so isthis guy:
    After much deliberation with our accountants and financial advisers, we have concluded that, in order to prevent a deeper recession and turn around the U.S. economy, the federal government needs to give the next bailout package directly to us…Accordingly, for a family of 10 such as ours (three sons, three grandchildren and two daughters-in-law), this means a $40,000 bailout…To reduce administrative costs, instead of writing 10 separate checks, the Treasury can send it all to me. As head of the household, I can be trusted to make sure every member of our family gets his or her fair share. Officials and taxpayers alike can rest assured that my family members will monitor me much more directly than any government oversight committee would ever monitor J.P. Morgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America and the other big winners of the recent bailout lottery.
    As they say, read it all!
    Happily, this snark appeared in the page above the latest Craphammer screed that seeks to convince the trolls that Israel really is the good guy since itnotifies noncombatants in Gaza BEFORE they blow up their homes, schools, churchs and hospitals.

  4. You make a point I’d missed in Jake T. Snake’s post. Especially when I was living in a parsonage on the grounds of the church, and people would knock on the door looking for help, I had one standard for my aid: I never asked questions.
    Church people and even pastors would insist on giving out coupons or exerting some control over the giving, to be sure the $$ wasn’t spent on drugs or alcohol. Legitimate concerns, but I reasoned that these people were adults, entitled to make their own decisions, and my responsibility was not to discourage them in any way, but to give what I had, and hope it helped them. What, after all, keeps the desperate wino from selling the coat for liquor? Maybe the guy you buy the hamburger for doesn’t need to eat that crap. You can never be sure you are “doing good” by controlling the good you do. You can only do what you can, and hope it is good.
    So I’d give ’em the money, and never worry about whether it was really going for gasoline or Thunderbird. Without condemning those who disagree with me, I can see very little different in worrying about how “they” spend the $$ I give them as charity, and worrying about how to keep “them” from asking for $$ in the first place. Because otherwise it’s still all about buying something, and not about giving because you can and they need.
    I could do a theology on that, couldn’t I? Maybe that’s how I should start the New Year…

  5. I am pretty sure this is the third time we have had this, or a very similar, discussion, about “deserving-ness.” I bring that up not to criticize but as proof that we as a country are exceptionally conflicted about it.
    Giles’ statement about forgiveness applies to any kind of giving. You do it because someone NEEDS it, not because you or anyone else thinks they DESERVE it.

  6. Jesus Hussein Katie Christ, you nailed it!
    Once again, you’ve expressed my feelings in a way that I can’t. It seems that it’s ok to skullfuck the government while constantly suppling it’s teat by taking advantage of tax deductions/evasions with the assistance of an expensive tax fraud specialist/accountant if you are born into privelege, but God fucking forbid a poor person to try and game the system on their own without the accountant that they can’t afford.
    Just to survive, Not to buy another Hummer.

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