11.04.2008

Revolution!

My daughter, Chey, had friends like no other in the rural, coastal, very poor town where she used to live last year. There were very rich people, her customers, and everyone else. In her apartment complex were the saddest, poorest people you'd ever see. You could tell -- they were defeated in every way. They made her feel very middle class, even if she was just out of high school.

When you don't have much, it hurts more when you have to be around people who have more than enough. It's easy to believe in conspiracy theories. Otherwise, being poor just hurts. If you can hold out for justice and blame forces beyond your control, you have an easier time waking up.

One of my daughter's friends used to deal with it by talking about a revolution. "Just wait for the revolution," she say. "Then you won't have to worry about bouncing checks. There won't be any banks."

My daughter didn't know how to deal with it, because if she did she wouldn't have talked to me about her so much. She'd say, "I told my friend about my boss not paying me the right wage for the past four months. She answered back with, 'when the revolution comes, bosses aren't going to have that kind of control.' It's getting annoying."

I picked up on this 'when the revolution comes' language. When gas prices went way past $4 a gallon, I told very conservative people that there's a revolution coming. They sort of laughed and changed the subject. They were probably as weirded out as my daughter was with her revolution friend.

I brought it up more and more. It got easier to fit this language into a conversation about banking, real estate, and especially about the stock market. I never got tired of it. It was a good way to see what people thought. They'd laugh or they'd agree with me; one extreme or the other. Everybody reacts when you say 'It's the revolution coming."

Conservatives and older people bring up Marxism, Russia, or something crazy and foreign when they hear the R word. When people go too far and talk about revolutions that overthrow absolutely everything, that is delusional and only something conspiracy theorists would envision. That's not the revolution, that's anarchy. Maybe they, and I, should be using the word 'change.'

Today's a good day for change.