Wednesday, November 03, 2004

"Don't Be Consoled..."

Okay, so I figured it out. My boss is highly disagreeable: he treats people without a ghost of respect, berates his employees in front of their coworkers, doesn't give them the opportunity to save face, and generally acts like a petulant, ill-bred five-year-old. And when I'm going through it with him, I now think this: this isn't as bad as the Bataan Death March. So my boss thinks human beings don't deserve dignity simply because they're human beings. So what? I'm not being forced to dig my own grave, I'm not going to get bayoneted, he's not going ot come running out of his office with a samurai sword and behead me.

Of course, it's not entirely a good sign that I equate work with war atrocities, but we can't all be jetsetting international playboys, you know? Plenty of worthy human beings with just as much of a right to pursue their dreams have been annhilated for amusement--why should I bitch about a jerky boss? History is rife with small pox infected blankets, beheading competitions, tubercular candy, incindiery bombs, tiger traps, and free fire zones. Gas chambers masquerading as showers. Genghis Khan made a man eat his own flesh until he died. You think you've got problems? Do you know what it means to be "drawn and quartered"? Look, there are your intestines, being wound up on a spit. Horses hitched to each limb, headed in different directions... All the torture these days is psychological.

I'm talking to myself, of course--literally and figuratively. Buck up, Sparky, it's mental anguish, sure, but not quite "The Manchurian Candidate."

All this reminds me, in a roundabout way, of a Stiff Little Fingers song:


They tell you not to worry, they say they're terribly sorry
But that's the way it has to be, for the likes of you and me
Just be good and know your station
Always look on the bright side
Keep you faith and keep your patience
Your reward is after you've died

So don't be told, don't be consoled
Things are so bad, you can never make do
And there's always someone better off than you

They tell you that's your future, it's all down to human nature
Simply settle for what you got, that's destiny and that's your lot
All of us cannot come first, yes what you have is second best
But it might be a good deal worse
Third world peasants get even less

Do you care that it's not fair?
Is this the way we have to live?
I know I care, and I want an equal share
Even if it means I have to give

The people who are on top
Say that you should keep your chin up and
They are keen to show you, the unhappy ones below you
But I want to more of that stuff, that's looking at it upside down
And the world has got money enough for us to make it go around so

Don't be told, don't be consoled
Don't be ruled and don't be fooled
Because things are so bad you can never make do
And there's always someone better off than you.

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