Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Red Tape I ImagineThe Industrialists Could Cause

I'm letting my mind have a free run of the place tonight, using my imagination.

This is like in the old Superman comics I used to read, where they would explicitly say on page one that this particular story is "imaginary." In the sense that in Superman's actual life it didn't really happen. I used to think there was a double bind there since Superman's entire existence is imaginary. But the idea was that given we suspend our disbelief long enough to read the comics, what we're reading is actual, yet sometimes the writers wanted to write something that was out of their imagination, beyond the given, suspended-disbelief "facts." It's confusing.

I'm using my imagination tonight, so this is an "imaginary" story, or episode in the ongoing factual (more or less) posts I've had in the last month or so.

I'm just imaging things tonight about the red tape the industrial powers could cause me if they really decided to clamp down. Let's set aside the actual fact that they're sidelined presently and that they were shamed into leaving me alone by a column Paul Krugman wrote. What if they came back? What if they did?

If they came back, I'm imagining they could cause me all kinds of further problems, including plenty of red tape. The way I define red tape is the ability to gum up my life, entangling me in bureaucracy or by legal shenanigans. They could get government on my case, since they're all in league with one another. They could get a team of high priced lawyers on me, turning my life into a Kafkaesque nightmare, worse than it already is.

I might go to get a driver's license -- let's just imagine things beyond normal experience -- and I would need two or three forms of ID, including a birth certificate, a marriage certificate (if I was married), my original Social Security card, my high school diploma, my 5th grade report card, and the cast that was on my leg in 4th grade. All of that. And guess what? I actually do have the cast that was on my leg in 4th grade -- who wouldn't keep something like that? But some of the other stuff, it might be tough to come up with. Like a birth certificate.

I might show up at the grocery store, in this little red tape scenario, and things wouldn't work. My debit card, my checks, gift cards, even cash ... none of it would be any good. Because they have an in with the distributors and with the store's chain itself.

Then the same kind of red tape would be awaiting me everywhere else, at the doctor, the dentist, the swimming pool, even at church. I'd put my check in the plate and it'd pop back out. I'd try to put it in the minister's hand, only to have him cross himself and scurry up the bell tower. Nothing would go right. The industrialists would be looking in the church windows, Jesus' eyes being hollowed out for that express purpose.

I'd come home and Grandma might be a different person, Underbrush a different dog, my house moved and a different one on the foundation. Maybe even a different foundation!

The industrialists. They're a dreaded enemy, a terrible opponent. The ancient wisdom says you want your opponent to always be at his best. But these guys, their best might be a lot better than what I can counter with. If they're at their best and I'm still at my average everyday level, that would be a problem for me.

But no matter, I'm ready for the red tape. I'm ready for their best ... or their worst. I will not back down. I will take these guys on day after day, as long as I'm in the mood for a good fight. And I haven't flagged from it yet.

My imagination ran wild, that's true. But I hope that's the way it stays, just in the imagination. If everything goes even half of what I've imagined, it will be bad. So I'm going to be hoping for a lot less than half. And maybe I'll get it!

No comments: