Thursday, February 12, 2009

Will Work For Dignity

How does Facebook know that I’m unemployed? Either the website scans our status updates, or the untidy economy persuades every check cashing pawn shop within a whore’s throw of the railroad tracks to splatter low-rent ad drivel like: “I Got FIRED (huge blazing rainbow font), but Thank God there was Google” and “learn how I make over $5,000 part-time at home with Google (magenta Ferrari pictured),” not to mention the sporadic nonsense about unclaimed cash. Obviously, I’ve got nothing against the industrious pothead who alternates money making Google keystrokes with upside-down water bong hits – all in the comfort of his fractal wrapped basement lair at mom’s house – but I’d rather just collect my “unclaimed cash,” thanks. You know, the bankrolls that Barry Obama’s supposed to be distributing to the middle class, personally, at bus shelters, supermarkets, and laundromats. Just look for that magic ice cream truck with the Presidential seal sloppily emblazoned over the Good Humor menu, and “God Bless America” (in MIDI format) blaring eternally from its roof-mounted horn. Utter financial ruin aside, Uncle Sam’s got a wheelbarrow full of bailout bullion, and dammit, the internet guarantees everyone their proper nugget (I’m mounting mine in a pinky ring). After all, accepting a congressional handout beats helping my Nigerian uncle wash a billion dollar inheritance payload through numerous offshore accounts. We never spoke much anyway, my politically exiled, e-mail savvy, black uncle and I.

Perhaps you haven’t had time to initiate that government conversation because you’re financially secure and buried in your conceit – one of the last Great Americans in no danger of losing your income, medical plan, or retirement benefits – strutting boulevards like a peacock with your ball bag swinging in the breeze while flipping the bird to every dole faced briefcase-toter. Well, zip up your pants before we all go blind. Have a little class and a touch of empathy. When this refrigerator runs dry, I’m trucking down to my church food bank for the weekly ration of Ramen noodles. And yeah, that’s me grazing uncomfortably at the prix fixe Sizzler salad bar with community drug dealers and blue collar heroes. Everybody alright with that? Good.

Anyhow, if Facebook truly scans content for ad placement, then I’m days away from banners touting lice treatment, disorderly bowels, and crack addiction. Careful readers may note related marketing on this blog's very sidebar, happily hawking bathrobe discounters (for the man of leisure and the man of porn) and debt consolidators. Avoiding the latter is my chief concern, so this chapter ends on a desperate note: offering sexual favors at job fairs and sleeping with recruiters for prime leads. Damaged, but not broken. Determined, but not decimated. Remember, it wasn’t long ago that my brains fit snuggly between my ears and loose change wasn’t clattering hollowly inside my head. I set my alarm and showered daily. In fact, I was just like you. Once upon a time a world away. Put differently, “I Got FIRED, but Thank God there was crack in my cookie jar.” And hey, brother, do you have an extra c-note that I can snort this junk through? Stop smiling, I know you do.


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