The Parable of the Big Beautiful Wall
A true family story, that you may use as a cautionary tale for the world
warning: portions of my story have be told before
Very Unpopular Strong Opinions Blog by Christyl Rivers
The world is crashing all around, and a small minority of truckers, (most truckers are on board with public health measures, not these guys) are wreaking havoc and distress.
They are not a monolith, but some are anti-vax, anti-immigrant, anti-social justice warriors, anti-women, anti LGBTQ, anti-religious freedom, and antigovernmental protections and regulations.
Disrupting the border, much of the rage is about borders themselves. Who has a right to drive across a nation? Who has a right to run it off the road?
They are driving headlong into disarray, disapproval, dissent, and disaster.
They are driving, yes, to keep what they see as “my livelihood, and way of life” But they do not see, usually, that they are working for the man.
This is the man, I like to call…
The Billionaire next door
For him, this place (Hawaii) was just a second home. It’s laid back, beautiful. warm, re-invigorating.
He is very pro elite privileges, because that keeps rich, white, males in control without having to personally be a warrior facing the “woke mob”, or living in vulnerable big cities such as Ottawa, where being a resident has been a nightmare through the last few weeks of blaring honking, vandalism, hate crimes, and worse.
We read he’s a workaholic. He sleeps three hours a night. He makes the most out of being in the right moment. He has high standards so he only dates supermodels, or at least, younger trophy wives. He seizes the day. He snaps up the best tech innovations and the most brilliant engineers. He has all the legal expertise in the world on his side.
What don’t we hear?
We don’t hear who does his laundry. We don’t hear about who keeps his pristine and otherworldly landscape. We don’t hear who buys his groceries. Who takes care of his children. Who cleans his toilet. Who gets him all this stuff: lumber from Canada, Bali, and everywhere in between? Lights, security systems, furniture for several homes, that yacht?
Who provides, packages, trucks, flies, and then trucks, (again)all this stuff to the most remote islands on Earth? Who does the actual toil of production and distribution? Finally, who pays the carbon cost of storms, fires, floods, and extinctions.
I am guessing for every multi-millionaire out there who loves the admiration, accolades and money, there is an army of at least a thousand people doing the labor that maintains him and his lifestyle.
Some of those people haul and deliver stuff. They value their income.
Oh, Canada, and the whole wide world
For the mega-rich, of course, they are propped up by thousands of workers who give the billionaire his “self-made” genius status. Also, they are propped up, too, by the millions, if not billions, of consumers who are bonded now to their often monopolized products. It’s almost impossible to support your local mom and pop shop when everyone tells you to get it cheaper, (and over night!) from Amazon, etc.
Especially now, many of the truckers, work for the monopoly that has become AMAZON. They are told that if Canada, or the USA, gets a highly efficient light rail, or bullet train — that can’t clog the cities and pollute as much — their jobs will be threatened.
They are frightened by stories of eco-warriors trying to kill their jobs. Or unionist will. Or commies. They are told the “others” will take what is theirs.
The elite that “earn” hundreds of times what workers make, support the paranoia. They do not enjoy the polarization, they just see it as a tool. Power is something they will take either side to defend. The politicians are on board the big rig. The media. Conflict: the story that always pays.
That big beautiful wall, a tiny parable from real life
Ever met a billionaire? The one time we did, he made an offer on our (my parent’s) home. He had just bought four or five other houses on our street. He wanted the whole street. It made him that much “bigger”, and a very important person in this community, the neighbors cooed.
He provided so many jobs to the neighborhood! Why, even last week he hired twelve new contractors and six security guys to work on the new pool house, cabana, out-buildings and landscape that he was developing.
Long story short, we said no to his absurdly low offer. Soon, he began sending us E-mail messages that we had to cut down the swaying palms in our yard because the next really big storm would surely have them fall across his ten foot wall (one he built that effectively cut off beach access to the whole community) and might harm his new pool house.
When I politely told him “no, the trees have been there for years with no problems, ever,” He told us, not so politely, that there could be “serious, legal consequences” if we didn’t cut down the trees.
We killed our trees.
A regular person of modest means cannot afford to go to court with someone of almost limitless means. Who even has the time, much less the money?
This was a devastating event for our family belonging and being there, but just another Tuesday for him.
I am certain that getting his way is the routine, the norm, the default, for a man who is as VIP as he is. (And he is only a “moderate” billionaire, who only has about one thousand million dollars).
He had, metaphorically, and literally, built a wall between what he has freedom and power to do and what the rest of us peons have power to do.
Power plays, energy efficiency
In daily interactions, we all wish to have some influence and some power.
This notion is called justice, or equality, and it’s sorely lacking in our present system.
The system, as both Robert Reich and the Donald, have pointed out, is rigged.
It’s just that they blame the rigging on different engines of energy.
Right now the Canadian truckers blaring their demands for freedom are not realizing that they are being played by wealthy, Astroturf alliances.
The tiny, but very loud, minority of truckers, or other people insisting their way of life is threatened, are correct. The racist, xenophobic, sexist, and elite-driven way of life is being questioned now more than ever before.
The people participating in the trashing of the earth, let’s say polluting with loud, obnoxious, stinking, diesel trucks, or delivering more plastic trash in support of fossil fuels, or unsustainable agriculture, or extinction driving consumption, are RIGHT.
They are not just “RIGHT WING.” They realize, somewhere deep down inside that one way or another, change is coming, (maybe Mother nature puts the hammer down??) and something has to give.
As more people wake up and smell the Texas tea, or refuse to bury their heads in the Tar Sands, divestment and sustainable green jobs and economy may happen, even as destruction happens, as well.
Some of us will defend our one race and one planet to the bitter end. Others will defend to the death the system that got us here in the first place.