The people in charge

Josh and I seem to be conducting our friendship mostly via my voice mail and his answering machine, which works out nicely. People call it "phone tag," as if it if's a bad thing, but I love it. I never know what to say into a phone anyway, so this kind of 'conversation' gives me time to think of what to say next. 

Today's message from Josh was an amusing but frustrating story about the stupidity of his instructors at the university. I won't try to re-tell or even summarize it, because it's the same story any of us could tell from any day at any job. Just another story of people in charge everywhere, who shouldn't be in charge anywhere.

His story ended with this: "It's the kind of thing that makes you question human nature, or even question the worth of humanity in general. It's the kind of thing that could turn someone into a recluse." 

Then there was a long pause, until Josh added, "It's the kind of thing that turns people into people like us, which I guess isn't too bad after all."

♦ ♦ ♦ 

I don't know what damage makes people into people like me and Josh — people who need to retreat from the onslaught of stupidity that's drowning the world. Sure glad I can recluse myself away from it all sometimes.

And I don't know why the idiots are in charge of everything, but it's one of the most reliable rules of life.

I am done being a young man, working my way toward being old, and I don't know much but this much is clear: Most of "the people in charge" don't know what they're doing, they're doing it poorly, and they know they're doing it poorly, but they don't care.

Most of the systems allegedly set up to help people, tend instead to demean us, keep us down and in our places.

At work, the people who get promoted are rarely the best; they're the people who make the bosses comfortable, which is not at all the same.

At the ballot box, the winners are the candidates who make voters comfortable, almost never a candidate who could address or even acknowledge our societal problems.

There's nothing I'm saying here that you haven't noticed yourself. This ain't earthshaking wisdom.

But how long can it go on like this, with dummies in charge, making an endless series of dumb decisions and always further dumbifying everything?

Tonight I look out the window and wonder where we'll be, you and me and America and the world, after another 25 or 50 years of "the people in charge" not knowing what they're doing, doing it poorly, knowing they're doing it poorly, and not caring.

From Pathetic Life #20
Thursday, January 11, 1996

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.


  1. Well, we're still here and things are definitely much worse in terms of freedom, democracy and corporate overreach. The right-wing is relentless and then sociologists wonder why the population is on a downswing among educated folks. I'm very glad I only have maybe 30 years left on this planet -- at most. I'm hoping I have less than 10. I don't see my health improving. It's more likely to decline steadily, then rapidly. Not existing worked for me before. It will work again. -- Arden

    1. Hope your health holds out, Arden.

      It saddens me so deeply when I think about it, that I try not to think of it at all, but...

      We're among the last people who'll know ordinary seasons, warm but not deadly hot summers, and such silly phrases as "once in a century flooding" or "tomorrow looks like a nice day for a picnic."

      Everything we've ever though was normal will be gone.


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