So, I've come up for air after spending the past four months or so writing a novel.
I've spent the time doing that, looking for a real job (no joy there), and taking a walk every day. I've been without a television or a radio. YouTube has been my friend. I've listened to a lot of music, but I've pretty much been ignoring what's been going on in the world. Anything I've known about what's been going on in the world has come from either Facebook or Ravelry, a website for knitters.
Don't laugh. Ravelry sometimes scoops the national networks when something big happens because, with over 2 million members, Ravelry is everywhere and Ravelrs are smart.
Anyway, in the past few days since I sent the manusscript off to soe beta readers, I've been looking at a bit of news. And, you know, I wish I hadn't. It's just too depressing, both the headlines and the background noise. Rioting in Egypt. Extremists beheading hostages. Both Sarah Palin and Donald Trump are talking about running for president again. Televangelist John Hagee thinks that the unemployed should be made to starve to death - well, I think the word he used was "allowed" to starve to death, but it comes out to the same thing.
That last may be the thing that bothers me the most. Because, you know, I'm still unemployed. Working, since writing is very damn hard work, and only people who have never written think otherwise, but getting paid for work right now. And, at this point, I'm not only not making money, but I'm losing the place where I've been staying tomorrow and I don't have anywhere to go. And becuase of that, this Hagee guy, who professes to be a Christian, wants me to die.
He doesn't know me. He knows nothing of my circumstances. He isn't doing anything, as far as I've been able to discover, to find jobs for the unemployed. He just wants to abandon a growing segment of the population of our country to die because...well, I'm not sure exactly why. He says the Bible says that those who don't work shouldn't be allowed to eat. However, I'm not sure that his attitude really represents the sort of Christian charity that I was taught that followers of Christ are supposed to show their fellow human beings.
I guess it's par for the course in a country where the rich are getting richer, the middle class is in danger of becoming the poor, and much of the corporate world advocates not only not paying workers a living wage but wants minimum wage laws overturned so that they don't even have to pay their workers a minimum wage that is inadequate to support an individual, much less a family. There are times when I think a certain segment of our society (and I'm looking at you right now, Koch Brothers) won't be happy until we becoe a feudal society, where a very small number of very reach individuals owns the rest of us, body and soul. There is something very wrong when, in the richest country in the world, there are not jobs for everyone who wants one, where some people don't have a roof over their heads and enough food to keep them healthy enough to work.
Because, God knows, I want to work. I'm willing to do anything I can physically do - and, of course, that is legal and moral. But, in three years of looking, of submitting so many resumes that I've lost track of their number, I haven't gotten even one interview. Oh, people want my labor. They just don't want to pay for it. So, I've done volunteer work. I've tried to generate my own job by advertising my tutoring services, but it seems like everyone who has enquired about getting tutoring for themselves or their children suddenly loses interest when they discover that I expect to be paid for my work. You know, like everybody else in the world.
I realize that I've said most, if not all, of this here before, in other posts. But I have to be honest: I'm getting kind of tired of being expected to do a thing, but then denied the basic conditions in which to do that thing. I'm told by society - get a job. But then I'm not given the opportunity to compete for a job by interviewing for jobs. Even worse than that, I'm condemned by certain segments of society for not working, but then I'm told, through their rhetoric in the media, that because I'm not already working, I'm not even allowed to have the basics to be able to have a chance to win the job if I do get an interview. I don't deserve, in their opinion, even a place to sleep safely, a place to keep myself and my clothes clean, enough food to keep myself healthy enough to do a job if I can even find one. I'm not entitled to have a phone and an address - but who is going to hire anyone who doesn't live anywhere and who can't be reached by phone to come in for an interview?
You know, I intended to write a nice, upbeat, "Yay, I wrote a novel...I've always wanted to do that" post today, since I've been away so long. But I just don't have "upbeat" in me today. And yeah, I'm feeling a little sorry for myself today. But things aren't all bad. I'm getting some mentoring toward getting some money coming in from my writing. It isn't going to be easy, working from the street, but I'm determined. Well, some people would call it stubborn. I'm going to fight these idiots who think I should just be written off because I happened to lose a job in the general downsizing that came in the wake of the financial sector shooting the world economy in the head.
But, you know, as stubborn as I am, as determined as I am, there is a stubborn, contrary part of me that almost wishes that the whole situation had made me suicidal. Becuase if I was - and I am not, so don't worry about me - I'd find a way to get me to John Hagee's church, and I'd sit down on their front lawn or whatever it has, and I'd have me this big sign that said: "Okay. You think I deserve to starve to death. Great. I'll just sit right here and do that for you and see how you like watching it. See how you like how that really looks in practice."
Becauase if I deserve to starve to death, the people who want that deserve to have to watch it, up close and personal.