Update from Ridgeline Drive in The Ghetto, October 10, 2012

Well, let’s see. My crashing rights here are extended indefinitely, the 15-year old girl (Gina) whose bedroom I occupy will soon become a ward of the state and mercifully will not be coming “home” to this hell-hole, her dysfunctional mother incapable of doing the simple things Gina’s professional keepers at RICA urged her to do. [I won’t go into her step-father, the Haitian lunatic Tasha has clung to for 17 years, whose presence may perhaps explain Gina’s over sexualized young body and shattered soul, but without her testimony cannot be brought to justice.]

Everything I have tried to do here for Tasha has instantly become an entitlement. Now, even the few skills she once had–like loading the dishwasher and running it once every dish, pot, and cooking utensil was dirty, or taking out the trash not twice a week as scheduled by the City of Gaithersburg, but at least once a month when the stink became unbearable–has been lost and replaced with “Andy will do it if I just wait”. Having lived here for less than three months among the people my Party, the Democrats, taxed hard working Middle Class citizen’s wages to shovel money to in the name of compassion, I understand their (the Middle Class’) rage and believe their continued irrational desertion to the handmaidens of the Filthy Rich and Corporations, the Republicans, is justified.

To say this ongoing needs-based misadventure has been a rude awaking is an understatement. Mitt Romney is wrong about almost everything, but he and the Republicans are dead right on about one thing: you cannot help people who will not help themselves. The dysfunction here in The Hood is unfathomable and an affront to me as a functional human being. It is a moral outrage that challenges me to my core. Yes, poverty, lousy parents, indifferent teachers, even racism–it all is unfair and totally sucks. As a trained Social Psychologist and Liberal Do Gooder I understand all the excuses and post hoc explanations. As a Buddhist I understand the need for compassion, but I also understand the need for dispassion. I cannot end other peoples’ suffering for them. At some point every person has to decide to transcend their surroundings and the limitations their environment has imposed, get off their ass, let go of their excuses, and take control of something, anything, within their control.

As toddlers, my three children in the early 1980s, my slightly older 4-year old step-son in the early 1990s [once I got him under my roof], and my five grandchildren now in a new Millennium, had more self-awareness, impulse control, and ability to make rational choices and think not magically but logically than the Philistines in whose midst I find myself ever will or could, even at gunpoint. To my fellow Liberals I say this harsh Truth, the lifeboat is not going to hold everyone, start preparing yourselves to make some difficult but necessary draconian choices. For the functional and productive among us to survive on a crowded and limited planet with finite resources and pissed off dispossessed masses numbering in the billions, more than a few dysfunctional people are not going to make it. In fact, I dare say few of them will join us if we manage to survive.


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