Thursday, January 20, 2011


H's daughter, who lives in town, lost her job. While this is commonplace today, the daughter had just made some decisions on the assumption that she'd be working there forever. She expected it to be her last job.

This reminds me of several things. When I was going to UCLA, a working friend of mine bitched a lot about his job but stayed because he loved the retirement benefits. Later, when I was a grad student at the Univ of Oregon, my friend had only two more years before he could retire. He couldn't wait. Then his company was bought out by a larger company -- and he lost his job. No retirement benefits.

The other thing I'm reminded of is how easily Tea Party types blame the government but don't blame the corporate world for their ills. In fact, government regulations are the only thing between them and runaway corporate greed. The business myth, the Capitalism v. Socialism myth, is so strong in this country that common folk can't even identify their real enemies, the entities that most limit their freedoms. You don't get to buy any car you want. You get the choose among the cars the corporation decides to make available to you. And listen to the rhetoric about socialized medicine from congressmen who themselves have what amounts to socialized medicine! Hypocrisy and ignorance abound.

I count my blessings. Who the hell knows where I'd be if the telephone hadn't rung a dozen or so years ago. I was very tired of the freelance writers life. I wanted to do something less stressful. I answered the phone and was asked if I'd be interested in starting a screenwriting program at Portland State University. Perfect timing! I've had a great part-time job every since, perfect. I count my blessings.

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