13 Dec

TheJoker was finding the concept of Texas-hold-em perplexing…


The new faces wander into the factory, the glazed look of apprehension obvious behind safety-glassed eyes; expectation, trepidation etched on their foreheads. Some of them have waited for over a year to regain the status of working class, as opposed to the ignominious title of former employee of XYZ Corporation. Fortune has smiled on these lucky souls, who can now put away their bonbons, turn off the day time television and return to the world of work. The economy is down, the outlook is bleak, but at least for the moment they have pay checks. Handed a fresh ladder to climb the dizzying heights of professional success, they are eager to fulfill their contracts and appease their new masters

With the ailing economy many companies  closed their doors, turned off the power and silenced the machines. The profits being made, although listed in the billions of dollars, wasn’t enough to hold them open. The profit margined gluttony, all too thinly crayoned on wafer-thin balance sheets was a disappointment to both investors and corporate officers. The shrill clarions call for, bigger, better, and faster, still echoing in the empty spaces where men used to work.

The boys at the soup kitchen prayed it wouldn’t be chicken again….. 


“We need twice as much as yesterday, and half as much again tomorrow, shoulders to the wheel, noses to the grindstone, everybody pulling in the same direction…..”

Corporate greed is the name of the beast that is not only killing America but is strangling the international community and choking the global engine. Jobs which supported families and paid for American dreams shipped abroad, so that strangers in foreign lands, working  for a couple of dollars less, could profit from the new factories growing up in their once pristine back yards.

Globalism at the end of the street; who could have thunk it?


The new company car was proving a bitch to handle through the corners… 


As the workers of the 21st Century close the door on their new houses, step into their fresh-from-the-garage automobiles, and drink the $5 dollar coffee that used to cost 30 cents, they thank their traditional deities and think no more about it. After all aren’t they deserving, aren’t they blessed, aren’t they the chosen ones? Opening their own doors to a sleaker, sexier, brighter futures they unwittingly slam the door in the faces of what used to be great industrial nations. Lands of milk and honey where everything was possible; where stamped in America, made in England, Detroit Diesel and Sheffield Steel meant something. No longer comrades; the clouds of austerity are upon us.

 Ben had chosen to ignore the shouts of “Get a room!”


We see the houses in our streets with for sale signs, overgrown with weeds. Furniture which used to be cherished and dusted on a regular basis standing in deserted driveways. Bright shiny fabrics and gleaming not-made-in-this-country alloys tarnished and fading in the Arizona sun. Whole neighborhoods where nobody lives, where countless homes stand empty; an abandoned city stranded on an island of unemployment and Governmental apathy.

“Well if you don’t like it you can write to your representative, your member of parliament, your President or your Prime Minister!” Forlorn words addressed and mailed in tear stained envelopes, paid for with stamps bearing American flags and Queens’s heads; emblems of empire and Postindustrial greatness. The worker may be down but he certainly isn’t out. The pride which used to have us congregating in the street with our flags, standing up when they played the national anthem, clutching our hearts when they raised the flag is still there.


 So what to do? Accumulate more guns; buy more ammunition and bigger safes from Costco to store them in? Stock up on food supplies for the day we hope will never come? Sit around in groups and discuss the obvious which appears to be patently unobvious to the oblivious who walk amongst us?

We few, we brave few, we band of brothers?

Like a movement of troops through a First World War trench I see the new faces, shake their hands and forget their names. A fresh infusion of blood, more fodder for the guns. Extra bodies to support capital investment, insuring that this year will be better than the last; our best year ever!  New attendees for weekly meetings for the exposition of ever ascending graphs and the extension of  corporate handshakes; cost, availability, yields and productivity, synonyms for corporate hegemony. 

The new faces take their place among the old, and we idle in our own thoughts. We remember the names of colleagues past and rejoice in their memory. At the same time accepting the changing of the guard, the influx of new recruits; food for powder!

The lights of the I-10 whizz past me as I proceed on my journey home, random thoughts racing through my head after another day in the bowels of the corporate machine. Like stokers aboard the R.M.S TITANIC, shoveling coal from bin to bin, we struggle to insure that the fires of corporate avarice burn ever brighter. Just one more shovelful will be enough comrades, just one more shovel…..

Bill’s final wish of being buried in his favorite train was proving troublesome….


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