Friday, November 14, 2008

Marie Antoinette or Madame Defarge


You be the judge, but I think I more resemble the latter than the former. All I lack is a wine shop and some yarn. I have my knitting needles and have always thought of myself as a character out of a Dickens tale, like A Tale of Two Cities. And what could be more appropriate in this time of enormous contrast between the rich and privileged, and the very poor. All we lack is a gilliotine, and I'm starting to think it's time to bring it back. I'm ready to see some heads roll and I've been making a list. All I need is a front row seat. And yet, I have been given this lovely award--a portrait of Marie Antoinette to hang upon my wall. Hummm. How very revolutionary. Well Marie hold on to your head I'm about to pass you around. So instead of Chimpy's head I'll give Maries to the writers who have shared their own struggles against the Machine that is wealth and greed and gluttony unchecked.

From my lovely friend Liquid Illusion who sends me hilarious email when I'm sobbing and makes me laugh in spite of myself. Miss Liquid is so slippery she can't be categorized. She too may be a little Marie Antoinette and a little Madame Defagre

So to Dcup, who has written very movingly about the hardships of the "Housing Bubble" and "The economic downturn," and the "Credit Crunch" at about the same time John McCain was saying "The Fundamentals of the Economy are Sound"

And to Diva for just about the same reasons. Just as the "downturn" began her Big Soulless Travel Agency laid her off, and in the worst economic climate in my memory she took wings and began her own business. That takes real courage. We are survivors. Would we be this old if we weren't?

And to Freida Bee, for too many reasons to enumerate here, but mainly the poetry in her soul as she contemplates, motherhood, possible bisexuality, mathematics, and whether tis nobler to douche or not to douche. These are the questions.

To Susan she of the gorgeous raven avatar, from whose beak issue forth the most intelligent and thoughtful comments of anyone. Really. I'm quite emphatic about that. She is also an incredible artist and story teller. Go see her. You'll never be the same again. Now all I want to do is go on a cross-continental train trip fifty years ago.

To Non, Je Ne Regrettes Rien because she held her breath and leapt free of this sinking ship at just the right moment and now actually owns her own piece of the French Pie and I'm not talking Quiche

And to Dr. Zaius who just explained the flat tax crap to all of us today and who will probably get the Pulitzer for his groundbreaking work in Economics.

29 comments:

KELSO'S NUTS said...

Madame De Parge minus a field goal

Utah Savage said...

I almost said, For Kelso and his nuts. But where to send it? You have so many homes, and I doubt you're struggling in quite the way the rest of us peons are struggling. I suspect the only struggling you've ever done is with your lovely ego. Oh to be handsome, smart, young, and rich. I know the young thing is all in the eye of the beholder. But I nailed the rest of it. Oh, I left our the charm part. Sorry.

Mauigirl said...

Congratulations on the award! Well deserved!

Freida Bee said...

Incidentally, beheading resonates with me to the point of seeming like a memory, and I have the thyroid scar to prove it, so if you mean me an heretical Josephine the Plumber's crack lover then I thank you kindly. And thank you for being witness to my coming out, dear, 'cause that's what I'm realizing I'm Free To Be here and I cherish that and you.

Utah Savage said...

Let me know if you need help, I'm great in a threesome.

DivaJood said...

Oh, shiny. I love this award. You deserve it. The group you've just passed it on to is amazing, except for me, who is merely confused and exhausted. I love DCup, and Susan, and Liquid (amazing talent that gal has) and FriedaBee, and NJNRR. They are all wonderful. And I have forgiven Dr. Zaius for his campaign.

Can I also be the Queen of Hearts and say "Off with their heads?" As for Kelso, I can't find his blog with any reliability, which proves I am a natural blonde.

So do we have to share this and spread it around? I will get to it around Monday, I fear, having just arrived in Chicago to play with grand daughter Beanie.

Utah Savage said...

By all means, dear, take your time. Hugs to the Secretary of Strawberries.

Stella said...

And every brilliant blogger on this list highly well deserving. Congrats to you all. Utah, you sure know how to pick 'em.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

UTAH: I'm 47 years old. Whether that's old or young is not up to me to decide. One of my friends in the states said that if I ever moved back there and Dick Clark died, I'd be America's Oldest Teenager.

Struggling? As Felix Ungar said in the famous Odd Couple episode: "when you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U and ME!"

I grew up with very little except a latchkey and a number of family members in prison. My dinners were crap like chicken hearts or sardines on toast. I hustled gin rummy, dice and spades for my spending money. I've always worked even if was handing out flyers for porno or strippers or washing toilets in office buildings.

It was very important to my father that I be a success. So, I got a scholarship to one of the best prep schools in the country. We financed my college with a legal pre-Reagan tax dodge and by the time I was ready for grad school, I had made plenty of money as a professional horse player.

No, I didn't STRUGGLE like a child beside the Ganges covered with flies does, but I worked for what I have. Better to have HAD eaten chicken hearts on toast in the past than having to eat that now, si o no?

Charm, looks, some brains, and a big ego were hereditary. I don't think of any of my friends as "peons".

It wouldn't occur to me like that. If you want to describe yourself like that, be my guest, but it's not how I think of you. You're my friend and my peer.

When I was in my teens, my father said to me "you're going to be very successful in life but don't forget where you come from and what THIS was like."

So, yes I have a few homes and businesses. I was never a social outcast even when I first ventured out of my social class.

No, I'm not struggling. I wasn't struggling before the financial crisis and as it worsens, I'll see a zillion opportunities to make more money. I see them already. I'm just keeping my powder dry and waiting to see what President Obama's first budget looks like.

That makes me neither good nor bad. It just is. I'm not so naive and arrogant as to think I'm doing anything to save the world. Neither am I oppressing anyone or making anyone's life worse. I've lived in a lot of countries but only in big cities, so I'm certainly not ever going to be doing anything that involves rural or jungle life or saving the eco-system.

I'm nobody's role model and would never preach to anyone about "personal responsibility" or "pulling themselves up by their bootstraps" because I did. I didn't. I had my gifts, parents who pushed me and I was and am very competitive and lucky.

I survived spinal menengitis with all of my parts intact and functioning and with no ill effects.

I'm basically a bonehead.

That's all.

DIVAJOOD:

You can find my blog posts at Utah's link for EDITORIALS FROM HELL'S LEADING DAILY NEWSPAPER

KELSO'S NUTS said...

On the subject of flat taxes and with the caveat that I have zero shot at ever winning a Pulitzer Prize but with the knowledge that I made Beta Gamma Sigma and the Dean's Honor list getting an MBA in finance and operations research plus finished second in ranking among every student of my year in the UC and Cal State system for Master's theses, I'll give you my opinion.

If I were a middle-class person living in America right now and some flat-tax proposal, less regressive than the one Steve Forbes had in mind, more in line with the one Jerry Brown had in mind four years ealier, I'd go for it over the system you have.

If you are in California and you're earning in the $40,000 range, among your federal income tax, state and local income taxes, FICA, state sales taxes, excise taxes, and various hidden taxes and user fees, you would be way better off at a flat 17% with a $25,000 exclusion plus a national VAT of 9% than you are today.

It wouldn't even be a close decision. If I were living in most EU countries, I'd be happy with the progressive system I had.

The difference is that every other country in the world gives you much more value back for your taxes than you pay at the lower income levels especially, starting with single-payer health care and subsidized university education.

The USA is merely taking your taxes and spending them along with tons of public borrowing to finance two wars and a huge national security apparatus. Not only is there no single-payer health care, private insurance at the employee level has become prohibitively expense and weak on coverage.

Subsidized university education? Forget it. The private univesities are approaching $50,000/yr tuition and the public universities $25.000.

Moreover, you will notice in these tax discussions that there are plenty of legitimate beefs about the rich paying too little and corporations being on a flat tax system, albeit at 35%.

I realize that any discussion at all about such concepts as flat taxes, balanced budgets and sound money on the blogosphere is kind of poison because all of those concepts are, sadly, associated with Reaganomics.

Of course, concepts like flat taxes are absurd to discuss in the USA but not because they are morally wrong and favor the rich. There is no serious discussion about a flat tax because the needs of the US government are too great and there's nowhere to cut.

Ideally, if America could get off it's addiction to war, defense spending, the national control state, including making every government and large corporation effectively providers of federal cops for free, plus giveaways to huge profitable business, plus agribusiness subsidies, you could have lower taxes.

All of those issues are off the table and it will be 20 years at the minimum before "defense" is no longer sacrosanct.

DCup said...

(Pokes Kelso in the ribs - "How are you doing, my friend?")

Utah, you move me to tears, to laughter. Such a fitting award! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Imagine you, me and Freida in a threesome. Unstoppable.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

D-CUP:

You've tossed me a batting practice fastball right down Bway with your question. Hoy am I doing? I'M STRUGGLING!

Include me in that action and we'll call it a "poquer" instead of a "trio," eh?

Randal Graves said...

I love the sound of the word 'guillotine.' I'm not sure what that says. I blame Utah.

I recall that a bit less than 20 years ago how many grants existed in addition to the not jaw-dropping price of a public institution. Now being employed by it, it's nothing but loans and tuition is going up and up and up. AND monies received by the state are now going to be tied to student 'success,' of which Mathman knows all too well.

Education will always be thirty-eight fiddle to blowing brown people up and keeping us in line.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

You know what I like about you, GRAVES? You're a snarky bastard but you've got a social conscience.

Before the chorus of "What about me? I taught Nelson Mandela everything he knows" goes up, let me explain.

I've read no end of pretty fuckin funny Chimpy and Palin jokes. Just thinking about the name "Chimpy" cracks me up.

But from the moment it got down too Clinton, Edwards and Obama for the Democratic Nomination, I didn't read shit anywhere against the war, against the death penalty, or against imprisoning children with adults. Except on the libertarian sites.

You know why that is? Because fuckin Clinton, Edwards and Obama are/were/are pro-war, pro-death penalty, pro-imprisoning children with adults.

GRAVES, you and I are very pleased that Obama won and won big. But tell me, Frenchy, are not Obama's views of war and peace, crime and punishment, NOT to Jean-Marie LePen's right?

Liquid said...

Bravo!

I love your list on nominees!
I am in total agreement and you have taken this award to a higher level with your incredible ability to be beautifully profound.

Oh, and I like being referred to as ""slippery.......now,that's a first (I think) and I LOVE it! My years in the industry has obviously paid off.

*giggle*

P.S. and by the way:
*has anyone seen my Astro Glide?*

:)-

susan said...

Oooh! This has been a busy post? Am I too late to join the front row of the knitting society? Like many of my colleagues, I'm most likely riding the razor's edge between Marie and the Madame avec des laines. I enjoy the small comforts of a life that would be considered luxurious by the larger part of the world population. Was being born in the west a smart move I contemplated before birth or simply an accident of parental copulation at a whimsical moment in their generally antipathetic union? No answer given or required.

I've had some DuFargian reactions to the injustices I've seen inflicted on others but I've also noticed that the majority of otherwise smart people I work with have been too easily seduced by the promise of easy money and remain too proud to admit they were wrong. They'd rather blame somebody else. Some of them are doctors I'm far too cowardly to call out ie, biting the hand that feeds me. It's not only 'morans' who are morons and who gets the job of sharpening the guillotine when we all accept our share of the blame?

Nevertheless, I am happy you've given me this lovely award. The accolades you receive for the honest depiction of the world you found yourself inhabiting are truly worthy of a wider readership. You are a kind and generous woman.

In virtuality, I'll participate in any ménage you envisage :-)

Utah Savage said...

Oh goody!!! A virtual menage is as close as I'm ever likely to engage in any kind of menage again. I say that sadly, in case you aren't getting the pathos in my voice.

Utah Savage said...

I like this thread so much I may never post again. I also Like the look of Marie eating sweets and reading a book. Classes up the joint. We should design an award that we then send on a round the world journey. Susan? You're an artist. Interested?

KELSO'S NUTS said...

UTAH: I don't accept the premise in your penultimate comment, and I haven't been speaking enough English to understand your last comment.

Other than writing it on the blogs, occasional phone calls, and the radio show, I dont speak English anymore and I'm starting to lose my grasp on it.

Utah Savage said...

Kelso, darling, handsome, charming, wealthy, talented, multilingual Kelso, penultimately speaking it's probably the absence of the accent over the first e in menage that's throwing you off the scent of meaning here. I've given up mingling actual bodily fluids with anyone in the real, physical world, but cyberly speaking, I'll mingle with the best of them/you--don't want to leave any one out in the cold, so to speak, virtually. In the virtual world. You get it? Maybe you don't want to hear it? I'd love to have a menage with my friends Dcup and the evermore sexy Mathman. But she is my virtual younger sister, and it's bad form to jump your sibling's bones.

I've been wanting to ask you. Where might I find your fiction, poetry, an actual photo of you? It's often hard to find readers for one's fiction, unless you're published and your publisher really really likes you. Know what I mean?

an average patriot said...

You are not a cruel revolutionary. You have a heart and a conscience. You are not arrogant either you just expect justice. We are going to have to think about something else!

KELSO'S NUTS said...

UTAH: Que si? Que no? Pue' que va entonces?

KELSO'S NUTS said...

UTAH: Al carajo, enganadora! No fuckin fair. All tease and no play. Gringa tipica. Leias el libro "The Rules," si o pa' que?

Me quedaba arechado de las palabras tuyas echandome las gotas del amor llevando mis Brooks Brothers interiores del boxeo del tamano 34 casi mojaditos por la vaina...y oye estafadora porque me frustraste com'asi?

Gringas jovenes. Gringas maduras. Igualitas. Que lastima! Otra razon de sentirme mucho ma' comodo en un pais latino en vez del Big Sammy de mierda.

Utah Savage said...

Why are all the men I like in their forties? What is it with you guys? Why charm me? Surely you have something better to do on a Saturday night? I'm busy writing about a massacre I'm planning. Lust thwarted quickly turns to bloody thoughts.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

My girlfriend is managing a lesbian convention tonight at Atlapa and when the booths close down they have music until like 5 AM.

I don't want to go to my nightclub because the place is small and packed and we charge a lot for the VIP tables and I'm kind of a business nit. I'd rather we make the money off the table than me fart around having sushi and sipping soda wasting space.

I also have work to do.

Additionally, I have been in the underground poker and night club scene in so many cities already that going out on a Saturday nighth is not like something I wait for all week. I work for myself. I have the betting business. I have the club business. I have the fund-management and investment business.

It's a nice life here and I really am more comfortable with Panamenos than with Americans but I'm here to work because I couldn't do all those things in the states because of the Patriotact -- with the Patriotact in effect how could I possibly run techno clubs in two blacklisted countries: Panama and Ecuador?

Probably nothing would happen but what if something did?

Utah Savage said...

Do you have bodyguards?

KELSO'S NUTS said...

UTAH: I'm safe and I'll leave it at that.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

Madame, tu est trop gentille!!! I'm pondering, I'm pondering, but merci beaucoup!!!

Dr. Zaius said...

Thank you for the award! I shall attempt to live up to it's noble sentiment in the near future. I would have answered sooner, but I have been busy with important simian matters. Thanks again!