Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

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I should be allowed to glue my poster

Yesterday, as everyone knows, was July 4th also known as American Independance day. I did absolutely nothing to celebrate this patriotic holiday because I think that doing nothing is the most patriotic of actions. The declaration of independance was about individual liberty including the right to dissent against your government and the right to ignore whatever silly ceremonies or customs it demands of you. Frankly I find the whole patriotic flag waving parade and firework July 4th celebration somewhat troubling. It's like "It is time to celebrate your freedom of speech and custom by following this exact patriotic script and towing the party line!"

No thanks.

The more I read writing by the founding fathers the more depressed I get by the current state of our government. It's pathetic, bloated, corrupt, and possibly evil. I think that if evil is real the majority of U.S. elected representatives might fit the bill. Heck we've already seen Gary Condit involved with a murdered woman and our "president"s biggest fundraiser turn out to be a fraud and a scam artist yet remain unendicted for his billion dollar thievery. And that's just the crap we know about.

(Side note. How do you think the soldiers in Iraq got along with their British counterparts during the July 4th celebration? "Hey there chum, what are you celebrating?"

"Oh independence day. That represents the day that we told you guys to get the fuck out of our country or we'd kick your ass so hard that you'd spew fully digested scones out of your noses"

"Oh right. That piddly little war where you were whining about the tax on tea and then had to go crying to France so that we wouldn't beat you like tardy school girls"

"Yeah. France sure sucks now. Want to go smoke a bowl?"

"Fuck France. Let's do it!"

When history smacks into the present incoherence is sure to result.)

Working in the semi-governmental non-profit sector has certainly increased my cynacism. Waste is all around me. Take the HRA presence at the court. First of all there are two people there doing the work of one. How do I know they are doing the work of one? Because one simply doesn't work. He reads newspapers and kills time. Furthermore it isn't even enough work for the one woman who does work there. She complains of being bored, and that's even though her job is made 4x more time consuming than it normally would be by the sheer amount of paperwork that she has to fill out. She informed me that HRA absolutely loves paperwork and then showed me forms that they gave her to fill out which have absolutely nothing to do with her job. There are 6 checkboxes for several categories, but they are irrelevant to her work so she actually photocopied the forms with the "Other" box checked in just to save time.

There's something so WRONG about that.

Every government in America is suffering a fiscal crisis and the response is to cut services or raise taxes when all that needs to be done is an improvement in efficiency. Fully 40-60% of government work seems to consist in filling out paperwork for various agencies. What kind of moronic bullshit is that? That just adds more waste because you need people to sort through all the paperwork. In fact I'd estimate that for every 3-4 people who do actual work the government needs to hire one worker just to sort through and handle all of their paperwork. It's fucking deranged.

And don't give me private sector efficiency bullshit. The private sector isn't inherently more efficient than the government. If it was then Windows wouldn't be so outrageously buggy in every iteration, gasoline would be a thing of the ancient past, and airlines would have the capacity to offer products as more than approximations of the services you will actually recieve.

Big organizations just don't work without trustworthy and ethical people, the kind of people who are rarer than a heavy metal song with comprehensible lyrics and who no longer rise to the top now that it's been discovered that the appearence of ethics can substitute for the real thing.

Ethics classes in law and business schools have become rediculous parodies. I think that's the heart of what's wrong with society these days.

The conservatives are right about the problem that government is way too huge but they are dead wrong about the solution. The solution is not to turn everything over to an aristocracy, or to abolish any attempt to help the poor and disenfranchised. The solution is to do basically what we are doing now but just a hell of a lot more competently. To actually think policy through rather than simply implementing it. To realize simple truths like that having someone run around to 8 different agencies to get the various social services they need regarding their being poor is rediculous and that inter-agency rivalries are moronic impediments to efficiency and progress. Simple truths like if you stick someone into a college or law school who couldn't possibly have gotten in on his own academic merits he will almost certainly FAIL. Simple truths like in the long run it's better to do what's right than what you think people will respond affirmatively to in the immediate future.

Of course I'm dreaming here.

On a somewhat less depressing note, I just thought of another way that my job is demeaning. Interns aren't given individual desks or workspaces, rather we are offered one computer and no telephone (even when we need to use said telephone, by which I mean the non-existant one). Anyway our computer isn't hooked into the network (due to spite, which is the same reason we have to borrow passwords to use the internet or print) so we have to save any work we do on it to the hard drive. Well on friday they replaced the computer with a total of 0 warning. They didn't give us time to get files off the hard-drive (which is hard to do because the disk drive is busted) they just took it.

Good thing we're not getting paid or we might expect better treatment than this (of course since I do most of the writing the other intern didn't really care)

If this entry seems ludicrous or stupid blame my cat. I've been watching too many horror movies lately and when I woke up last night and saw my cat mewing loudly and jerking her head around like a creature possessed it freaked me the hell out. Of course she was only following a moth that was flitting around a ceiling light but it was still freaky. I shouldn't watch horror movies, but the thing is that I can get through them easily while they're on so I don't think about the price I'll pay when I'm alone and tired at night and when I close my eyes the only image I can see is that of a 7 foot tall man with railroad spikes sticking out of his flesh laughing maniacally and reaching for my head to pull it off my shoulders.

At least HBO had some Chris Rock stand up on so the night wasn't a total waste.
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