Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm Laying Off The Industrial Section

I'm laying off the industrial section of town ... for a while.

I was contacted by their organization, the Mega Amalgamation of Commercial Heavy Industrialists Necessary for Earth (MACHINE), and asked nicely "to cease and desist" from "all propaganda of a negative tone that detracts from our organization's function and mission."

I got the letter, which they were nice enough to have the post office hand deliver and ask me to sign for it, and took a couple of days to study it. They apparently contacted a lawyer to draw up the papers on this matter, no doubt paying a hefty retainer and probably a fairly high "per sheet" rate on the paperwork. If it's anything like the time I went to the lawyer and had a will made, they'll be taking a little money out of at least three paychecks to cover the expense. So this is a big deal.

Anyway, I studied it. I have one of those editor's visors, a hat with a hole on top where your head sticks through. I sat at my table and turned off all the lights except one shining directly down from slightly behind me. It would've had to have been quite a scene were there any observers of me sitting there. The single light, the odd shadows, a studious man at a table, the visor...

I carefully laid the papers out, then felt the raised printing on the lawyer's letterhead. I held it up to the light and noted the nice watermark in the paper. This is quality stuff, not like the reams of paper you get at Walmart, which, as good as it is, still isn't as good as this stuff. This is the kind of stuff that, if you're not a lawyer, you always have trouble finding. It's such fine stationery that you have to subscribe to it like the Wine of the Month club, and I believe they only send out about 12 sheets a month, tops. I saw an ad for it in the Smithsonian magazine, that's how good it is.

I had a number of thoughts on this. And a lot of joy at having set MACHINE back a pretty penny! And along with that, the idea that one little guy, me, was able to essentially bring an entire amalgamation to their knees. That's pretty good, it's darned good. And yet... Can one local man buck the MACHINE forever? Or would they very quickly be able to crush me under their massive heel, as the letter seemed to indicate was the gist of their threat?

I could well imagine the rumblings at the highest echelons. You get a organization like this and they're barely humans. They're more like fallen angels who've yet had the good fortune to rise up out of Hell, get an education in economics from a university, make friends with stockbrokers, get in with a bad (but powerful) crowd, and set themselves to squeeze society for their own selfish economic interests. Wall Street types. These are guys who can be dangerous to mess with. As nice as their letter was -- and there was every indication that they had read every word of my blog (I just hope they clicked on some of the Google ads, because that would be change in my pockets) -- I'm afraid of some of the machinations that must have taken place in those higher realms.

And what happens at the higher realms of course affects those of us at the bottom sooner or later. So this is where I have a choice, to press on, probably foolishly and be crushed, or to tread lightly or even withdraw, and hope that somehow I'll survive and be able to press on later. It's a matter of living to fight another day, perhaps not entirely on my own as it has been but with an amalgamation of my own.

This could be a task best left to the underground. I might not be able to burrow under the streets, then into the industrial section to destroy their workings and save the world. But maybe I could burrow down in another sense, go underground, and find those who are like-minded, who care about the damage the industrial sections of our towns are doing, most of it very scurrilous. Then we could come together, plan and chart our course, and try, through political and social means to change things. Then when that fails, it would be time to bring out the pickaxes and head lamps, share our marching orders and take these guys out from beneath.

So, yes, MACHINE, I got your letter, MACHINE. I read it over more than once, MACHINE. I believe I understand what you're trying to say, MACHINE. The message has come through loud and clear. You've got me ... for now, MACHINE ... But know this, you better watch your backside, MACHINE.

That's all I'm saying about it for now, just watch your backside!

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