Serves Them Right to Suffer

Do you want to know what various types of social workers from the various types of agencies at the federal, state, and county levels get really upset about when they parade like the jackbooted Nazi Gestapo through the homes of poorer class underlings? Big flat screen TV’s. Almost instinctively they recoil. How could these people on food stamps and being granted other forms of public assistance be so socially irresponsible as to own such a massive TV? How could they do such a thing when their children need clothing, and their homes are falling down around their ears? This possession, above all others, proves their unwillingness to get a job, raise their social status, become a functioning and contributing member of society as they define a functioning society to be. It’s readily apparent that all they want to do is sit around all day and watch television. Takers is what they are. All they want to do is take, take, take.

As they engage in a mental inventory as to the cleanliness, or lack thereof, of the home, always ask to use the restrooms so as to check them out, scour the bedrooms, search any ashtrays that they come across for roaches, look for any signs of illicit drug use or over use of legal alcohol, and finally access the amount of food in the cupboards before quickly peeking into the refrigerator on their way out, their condescending minds always obsess on that TV. These people are supposed to be poor; so why don’t they look like they’re poor? That television says it all. They just don’t seem to be taking their poverty seriously enough.

Do you know why poverty is so frequently referred to as, “grinding poverty?” Because, if you are poor, it grinds you down. You go to bed with it at night and wake up with it in the morning. It robs you of your happiness, and your dignity, and it taunts you with its constant little reminders that you aren’t cutting it like all those other people are. You are different. You are less. Which is why these people with their thinly veiled arrogance are marching through your home and passing judgement over you to begin with. It can cause you to hate yourself, and when you do that, your subconscious tells your body to shut down, and you frequently feel weak and sick when you dwell on the full extent of your poverty. This is why many enlightened humanists say that poverty is a disease. With a disease you either get better or worse, or worse than worse, learn to live with it during your slow oftentimes painful descent towards death. Death sometimes comes as a relief. Death, in the final analysis, can seem like rest. You are so tired and you would just like to rest. In such life circumstances, it’s good not to dwell on the full extent of your poverty. In many cases, worry won’t cause the poverty to be lifted from you any faster, if there’s even a chance that it can be lifted at all. You come to learn that anything that can take your mind off of your poverty, if even just for a short while, is a good thing. You don’t owe it to anyone to suffer any more than you already are. But that’s not how they look at. Until you are no longer poor it serves you right to suffer. Maybe that will force you to get up off your ass and join the society that they view themselves as belonging to.

All of which brings us back to that TV. You can’t afford to go to the movies; the ticket prices and the prices of the concession stand goodies are outrageous. It takes gas to get there which is now prohibitively expensive, providing that you have a car, and many poor people don’t. You can’t take the baby, so who will take care of it? Do you trust them, and what will they cost? All things considered, it is far cheaper to watch television at home. A very good 55 inch Smart TV can be acquired for under $600.00 and provides enough internal programming and entertainment to hold a family’s attention for weeks on end. But if you’re poor and unlikely to be able to rise yourself up out of that poverty this is just too much, this is just too good for you. This is also just another of the condescending knee-jerk reactions of the plantation overseers, because if they were open-minded enough to put a little thought into it they would realize that this is, in fact, your most cost effective option, except for the option that they consider to be good enough for you – no television, no entertainment, no diversion at all. You don’t deserve any of that. You should suffer until you can change things. All that suffering will cause you to get your ass in gear.

The thing about the wheels of poverty is that they turn very slowly. Just as getting rich quick so often proves to be a fallacy, so is rising quickly out of poverty. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, if you’re even able to get on the track at all.

Suffering is as close a cousin to punishment as there is. Here in America, the home of the brave, and the land of the free, we are very big on punishment. A case in point being that although we are one of the least populated major economy nations on earth, we also have the largest prison population per capita of any country on earth – by far, it isn’t even close. What is so often said is that wrongdoing has to be met with consequences, even when the nature of these consequences inflicts so much more harm upon the perpetrator than was ever inflicted upon the victim. This is a false equivalency in its truest and most disastrous form. Long story short, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, but the general consensus of our punitive society is that with any level of criminality it serves those deemed as criminals right to suffer. Somebody always has to pay, somebody always has to suffer. It’s as if any other paradigm would cause our American society to collapse.

Which brings us back to the tragedy of being poor, which in the eyes of law enforcement and the social arbiters of what is acceptable behavior within the general herd of society is frequently viewed as the low hanging fruit of arrest statistics and case closures. Whenever there are too many cops and not enough real criminals, or too many case workers and not enough truly deplorable cases, the tendency is always to become increasingly pettier towards those that you oversee so as to justify, in your own mind at least, your condensation which is just the first rung on the ladder to complete and oftentimes seething contempt.

These people don’t even deserve that big screen TV. Whose really being trivial now? God forbid if there are any choice cuts of meat in that refrigerator. That would be a sure sign of excess and speak to what social degenerates these people really are. Write that up.


John C. Krieg is a bitter and contemptible old geezer who is about to die. For kicks John allows his 8-year-old granddaughter Hope to sit on his lap and drive his decrepit car around at a high rate of speed on their five acre lot located up on the high chaparral of Southern California while blasting Johnny Winter on the stereo. In another life, John was a landscape architect, swimming pool contractor, and outlaw pot farmer. Gone, all gone now, and for sustenance John now sits at the keyboard daily and tries to write something of significance for the family of man. One family tradition is to bury all of our deceased dogs on site, give them festive markers, and miss the hell out of them. Late at night John visits the grave site of Luke the Legendary Bloodhound and mournfully howls in reverence to their better days gone by. When he finally kicks, John wants any of his usable organs donated, and then to be composted so as to give what little he has left back to Mother Earth.