Real American: Vital Statistic
Long May She Wave!
real American: Vital Statistic
I am a Real American. And I have become a statistic.
When did Americans become numbers? Long about the time Eisenhower came on television in the 1950's warning about the "Military-Industrial complex" the world had begun to change in ways that old soldier could barely express. He claimed it would take us over if not kept in check. And he was right.
The "Complex" brought us into the statistical age. My generation were already branded "Baby Boomers" by the end of the Fifties. And no matter who says what, the Baby Boom was from 1945 to 1954, it did NOT include the 1960's. It was from the end of WWII to the end of the Korean conflict. When all those statistics from the war came home to breed with their statistical wives and bear up many, many statistical children. Every family was supposed to have had 2. 5 children. We laughed about that back then. What was .5 of a child? But that's just the point. Children were no longer children, playful, huggable, dirty faced, smiling, little human beings, they were stats. They were also a "Market." The Industry part of the "Complex" began to target these statistical Baby Boomer children to the Nth degree. They tried hard to serve them up everything from sugar coated cereals empty of any nutrition, along with the Wonder Bread and the other refined foods that would one day cause a rise in the statistics of incidences of diabetes...to hard liquor and cigarettes, featured on daily television commercials. The marketeers and Admen knew full well that these Boomer kids would gobble up anything set on that wondrous box in the living room, as long as it looked cool, tough or sophisticated or if it oozed "fun!"
We were also considered statistics by the Military, who claimed Nuclear Holocaust was survivable and even winable! because if only on tenth of one percent of all the numbers of Americans in a nuclear holocaust survived, then America would survive. So they made us bomb shelters and told us how to get to them. They didn't mention that the earth would be poisonous for the next fifty thousand years and that anyone who came out of the shelter to live on the land would have horrible skin cancers and bone marrow cancers, dying within weeks as their skin sloughed away. Nor did they mention that any kids the survivors had would be severely deformed and retarded and most likely completely unable to breed. The military didn't mention that all the knowledge of the world, then in libraries, (not on disks in computers), would be burned up; because they wanted a certain percentage of nukes to be built, so they could keep their tiny percentage of jobs and wealth. So they told bald-faced lies to themselves and the rest of America about a statistical possibility of someone surviving their morbid man-made catastrophe!
So like all Americans, I started my life as a statistic. A number. On one TV show in the sixties I loved, called The Prisoner, the hero (simply called "Number 6"), would yell at the end, "I am not a number! I am a free man!" Oddly this show was produced not in American, home of the free. But rather it was produced in Britain, considered now to be a "Socialist Nation" because it has nationalized health care so people there don't go broke just because they get sick. Yet these Socialists seemed to be warning in this show of the possibility that a person might indeed become " a mere number," no longer free to choose where they live, what they eat, what they wear or who they love.
The numbering of humans as some sort of worthless percentage points started with the prisoners of Auschwitz, Treblinka and Buchenwald, thanks to the numbering and organizational techniques of the famous IBM company, which invented computers for modern use. Ah, Computers! The more they were used by the "Complex" the more we became numbers. All of us were assigned social security numbers, drivers license numbers, tax ID numbers, we were all printed on punch-cards with little numbered holes which could neither be folded, spindled nor mutilated! But it was O.K. to mutilate people. It was o.k. to punch people, and fold them and spindle them. They were after all just statistics! Like the people in New York who were victims of murders, rapes and muggings. Just statistics. Or the prisoners in prison, or patients in hospitals or kids in school or taxpayers in their jobs. Just a lot of numbers to be crunched. Usually these numbers were being crunched by Banks and Insurance companies. And sometimes by the Military or by big corporations looking for their markets, their demographic, or their loyal consumer base.
Those of us who began to protest these vast inhuman numbering agents, were then numbered among the Communists and the Socialists. You see? The people who cried: "I am not a number, I am a free man!" were berated and belittled and called traitors because they did not want to be simple statistics. Those who in earlier days would be called American Revolutionaries and Patriots, were being numbered among America's enemies. And many were shot and killed and beaten by police and government soldiers in the 20th century. I was one of those statistics. Chased down the street by the police in Chicago in 1968 at the Democratic national Convention. My story though is unimportant. I was just one of many discontented numbers who wanted to be free.
I was one of many who protested the war in Vietnam. And I was one of many who did actually vote Socialist, rather than see another term for Richard M. Nixon. Some see him as a great president. I see him as a lying murderer. I was one of those who saw most politicians as demons seeking to make us all into a statistic in their never-ending war against Communism. They wanted a certain number of us dead in their cause and a certain number wrecked physically or mentally forever, so they could have a statistical base on which to gauge further wars against their enemies.They made up lies about Socialism and Communism to make people fear these ideologies. they made enemies out of vaporous lies, the Russians and Chinese were never considering massing on our borders to attack us. these were intensely backwards,ill educated, ill equipped people who could barely make their own countries function without medieval tortures and fief-like systems of government. neither the Chinese nor the Vietnamese, nor the Russians actually had true Communist or Socialist governments, they were dictatorships, pure and simple, and they still are.
So many times we were on the brink of an all-out nuclear conflict with the Russians. their own statisticians showed how great and popular and rich their country was; How many rockets and nukes they had! They touted how many satellite nations revolved around their ideology. They crowed about how much grain and oil they produced. And their statisticians all lied. They were poor and destitute and reliant on Americans for their bread. Finally they collapsed under the weight of their lies. Sound like anyone we might know today? We owe our existence and present economy to the Chinese, who we swore we would defeat as our mortal enemies! Nixon opened up the West to the East. Yea! Now we're their hostages. And they our are bankers!
Of course how can a Real American be a Socialist? Socialism is our enemy! Even though a greater percentage of the world is Socialist, (even democratically elected socialists). We hate Socialists and Commies. But we buy all of our goods from them now. America maintains that statistically Democracy and Capitalism is a better form of government. However what they forget to tell you is that Capitalism is not a form of government. It's a trade arrangement, and a monetary exchange system. Democracy and Capitalism never actually went hand in hand until America started to do things that way. Now capitalists in the vast Military Industrial Complex have sent America into an economic tailspin. And yet the Real Americans who hate all other Americans for not being American enough, seem to think that the banks and insurance companies raping them is just what the doctor ordered! And they have no qualms about buying Chinese products and destroying American job bases in the meantime. Funny, but that's how the numbers crunch.
I have worked and paid taxes since I was 14. I have voted since I was 18. I am now 55 years old. I have diabetes. I have lost my job because of the economic downturn. I have to go down to Mexico every few months to get medications because I have no health care, no insurance and now no job. the job disappeared because the company i worked for had no intention of giving me any sort of living wage or benefits. It wants to pocket all its profits which it makes by manufacturing all their products in foreign countries. Statistically this business went from being a four billion dollar department store chain, to being worth a little over two hundred and fifty million dollars! They did that little trick long before I started working there. So now I am an unemployment statistic because they couldn't take care of their numbers without ruining people's lives. But who cares really? We are all just statistics. It doesn't matter the stress we feel, the heart ache we have over the end of our dreams. It doesn't matter anymore is a certain percentage of us lose our homes or our families break up or we become drug or alcohol addicted because of the pain and shame of being an American with no job. They can't even see that statistically, the more people they put out of work, the less people they will have to buy their overpriced foreign goods! (Or how their mortal enemies, the Communist Chinese are becoming stronger and more progressive than the USA!) In fact the less people there will be to buy ANYTHING if things keep going this badly. Which will ruin them in the end even worse than they were already ruined.
Statistics are funny. They can be fudged. Scientists know this. Mathematicians know it. Governments know it. Numbers can be ruled out, misplaced, uncounted, left out, changed, or made smaller or larger with the stroke of a computer key. You can fool people with numbers. You can fool yourself with numbers. And you can make an ass out of yourself and kill yourself believing in statistics.
It's time we all believe in people again. It's time to get over the statistics and start seeing the humanity at the bottom of all these computer graphs and demographic models. Human beings are crunched into the pavement by the bean counters. (A lot of this statistical nonsense started with insurance by the way, because face it, insurance is them gambling that you'll live long enough to pay them big bucks before they ever have to pay you off. It's just another kind of Vegas, baby!)
It's time to see that Americans are people, FREE MEN and WOMEN! We have choices. We have a say so in how we live and are treated. We have the right to debate with the bean counters and the "Complex" and even put an end to the trials and tribulations they are forcing upon us as a nation. We are people! we are your sister, your brother in law. We are your mothers and fathers, out of work, sick, thrown onto the welfare system by an ever growing capitalistic greed that has festered out of control. America was not meant to be a place controlled by the Super Wealthy, making serfs and slaves out of the lower classes. If we allow this to happen we discredit the blood and deaths of thousands who went to war to gain our freedoms. If we allow universal health-care to fail, if we allow these interminable wars against a few ignorant religious moralists who want to live in caves to go on, sucking up all our money and time and youth. . . if we let the monstrous greed get so out of hand that only doctors, lawyers, insurance salesmen, bankers and corporate raiders and Wall Street mucky-mucks have all your money, then we will all become mere statistics in the historical record.
The record will read: A certain percentage Americans became Middle Class in the 20th century as the economy was fed by a burst of capitalistic fervor to create new jobs and new businesses. By the early 21st century that percentage rapidly declined as a scant 1% of the population began to own all the land, food and manufacturing, constricting business and growth. the economy flagged and began to fail. Until finally the American Slave Class was created by the Exxon Government in the late 21st Century. The End.
I for one am sick of being a statistic. Anyone else? I am not a number! I am a free man!
Be Seeing You!
Portrait of a Middle Class Man, circa 2008
It CAN happen Here!
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