Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hope Continued

A friend of mine told me that having no Hope can be a liberating thing. He claimed that with no Hope, you can never be disappointed, like you were in the old days when you thought you lived in a better, more hopeful, world than you really do. He seemed content with this, almost happy, because he's an intelligent, compassionate human being, and he came by this conclusion honestly. I'll explain.

For many years he made his living driving truck, until he passed out at the wheel of his own car after taking “Spice”. The reason he was doing “Spice” was because he was a lifetime pot smoker, and he drove truck for a pee-testing company. He had over a million transcontinental, accident-free miles under his belt, but the pee-testing company that he worked for made all of their employees—including my friend with his immaculate record—sign a contract in which the employee agreed to a pee test whenever the company felt like giving them one. After several years of holistic and homeopathic attempt to curveball the pee test, after much worrying and looking over his shoulder, he started experimenting with “Spice”, which was supposed to be a very similar high to marijuana yet didn’t show up on a pee test. And here's were we get to Hope.

Many folks who currently reside in the Ron Paul quarter of our 21st century Universe ardently believe that if we would only eliminate all the rules of society except the ones that allow the Biggest Lawyer to win, we will have a society so free that babies will be issued their “m-cards” at birth. This is called "libertarianism"--by them. 

But those of us who are old enough to remember the Eighties, when corporate fascism, marketed to us Plebes as "libertarianism", started its steady rise under Reagan. We remember that, back when pee testing was born, the drug war was simultaneously birthed from that very quarter of the Universe--and by the very same corporate interests--from which our current tea-soaked “libertarians” reside. We remember that the Drug War, and pee testing, was not about "freedom" at all. It was about control, foisted upon us by an earlier crew of self-described "libertarians" who had just been caught illegally selling arms to terrorists in Iran and funneling the profits to terrorists in Central America. The Reagan team needed two things immediately; distraction and control.

An emerging technology allowing public agencies and private corporations to detect trace amounts of THC in your pee up to a month after you’ve taken a hit provided the Reagan team with its excellent answer. Never mind that allowing such an Orwellian search-and seizure technology to be inflicted upon law-abiding citizens was patently unconstitutional. The Reagan team decided to ramp up the drug war by simultaneously making marijuana so illegal and allowing pee testing to become so ubiquitous that kids would turn their parents and teachers in to the government (which some did) and that deep-pocketed interests could hold an employee’s pee over their head and threaten them with jail time if they don’t just shut up and do what they’re told. 

Voila! The new, improved Drug War was declared just as the Reagan-era "libertarians" were getting exposed undermining our Constitution and common decency etcetera, etcetera (etcetera, etcetera). With just a tiny tad of smoke and mirrors—so to speak—the first of many sweeping techno-invasions of our privacy was granted to those public and private entities by the very Team-in-power dry-casting desperately for distraction and control lest they soon become the Team-out-of-power. And that, to say the least, was a serious business for the government as well as for Corporate America, who naturally took it seriously. 

So it happened, that from the day my friend signed a contract that should have been declared unconstitutional on the face of it by any insect let alone any judge, whenever he allowed THC to pollute his pee, which he did on a semi-regular basis, he risked losing his job and possibly having criminal charges filed. This state of affairs forcibly wrapped around his life led him to experiment with "Spice".

Ironically, he may have been able to pass a pee test if one had been given him during this brief period of his life. But they never gave him one, and he passed out instead, while driving, thus losing the job he was trying to save by switching to “spice” in order to dodge a "libertarian" policy that, if you were to believe contemporary tea-ranters such as Ron Paul, had outlived its "libertarian" purpose. 

To be fair, my friend was close to retirement, and the company wasn’t run by bad people per se. They didn’t really care if their drivers smoked pot. They were just doing what they felt they had to do to stay in business, which they thought included being a pee-testing company and not retaining drivers who had a record of passing out while driving. Pretty reasonable, they thought, and they gave him a desk job to mark out his time until he qualified for Social Security. He still works under the same pee-testing contract, but the company doesn't pee-test their office help as a general thing. 

“See!” he told me. “No hope. It’s a good thing.”My friend seemed content, almost happy which, unsurprisingly, he generally is anyway.

I can’t prove or coroborate any of this of course, except that my friend is a professed atheist who basically practices the core precepts of true Christianity. But as far as pee-testing goes, this is an accurate description of how I saw it in 1986 and, allowing for some minor adjustments for inflation and other details, is how I see it now. 

The Reagan team showed us all what a "libertarian" skirt looked like, and we just didn't pay attention. Know thyself by the company ye keep, and Hope's Hope, no matter what you need to call it to get by, day by day.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

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