Falling in Love with a Prostitute

by David Glenn Cox

As the old song goes, nobody loves you when you’re down and out. It’s

true enough, but still somehow you expect your own mother to love you.

It is disquieting and soul stirring when you come to the realization

that even your own mother has no use for you when you have no coins in

your pocket.

The other day my son called me from the mall to

tell me that he was swarmed by military recruiters all wanting him to

enlist. There were three recruiters in the mall itself and another team

working in tandem in the parking lot. He explained to them, “I’ve spent

the last three years trying to build my own business. Do you really

think that I would just chuck it all to join the Marines? Why would I

want to do that?”

“Aren’t you patriotic? Don’t you love your country?” the recruiter countered with the confidence of a Philadelphia lawyer.

“Yeah?”

My son answered, “I’ve got buddies who’ve come home in boxes and I got

a buddy who came home messed up in the head, and for what? He’s sitting

in a brig in Texas. He was fine when he left home; now you people say

he’s a criminal only worthy of a jail cell, but he was good enough for

you when you wanted him to serve his country!”



George W Bush is

out on a speaking tour and offered to the one thousand in the audience,

“I am confident that I made decisions based on principle, that I made

calls as best I could, and I did not sell my soul.”

What

alternative universe could contain such thoughts? The former President

lives in a dream world detached from reality. He thinks after six

thousand Americans dead and seventy-five thousand wounded and almost a

trillion dollars just pissed away that it is somehow about his soul?

Asked

if the former President had any regrets, “I spend a lot of time

thinking about Katrina, and whether I could have sent in the federal

troops right away, even though it was against the law,” Bush replied.

Such

statements in a bar or barbershop would earn him a well-deserved punch

in the nose for the hubris, the unmitigated gall to attempt to tell the

American public of his concern and fear of breaking the law. Especially

while more than sixteen hundred Americans died in the streets of a

major American city while the President played air guitar and ate

birthday cake.

American politics has become a never-ending

Wagnerian opera; onstage the hero with sword and shield fights the very

gods themselves for justice. Yet when the curtain falls and the lights

go dim, he smokes cigarettes and drinks brandy backstage and doesn’t

give a fat rat’s ass about truth or justice.

The entire health

care debate looks like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. There is

no doubt that health care reform is decades overdue. But the house is

on fire; is that a good time to choose to rearrange the furniture? We

have in this country three million people who lost their homes in the

past ninety days. Unemployment claims are running at more than over

half a million per week! Four hundred thousand struggling Americans

lost their unemployment benefits October 1st because the Senate wanted

to play procedural games.

Before hurricane Katrina, the

population of New Orleans was 485,000 people. Last week a number

exceeding the entire population of New Orleans filed for unemployment.

A number equal to the entire population of New Orleans lost all

unemployment benefits. Six times the pre-Katrina population of New

Orleans have lost their homes since July.

The healthcare

debate is being waged along partisan lines, your health versus large

corporate profits. The Congress struggles to find a balance; meanwhile,

the nut balls on the right call it socialism and ask, by what power

does the constitution allow the government to intrude into the

healthcare industry? But a better question to ask might be, by what

power does the constitution allow the corporations of the country to be

placed on the balance scales against the wellbeing of the people?

This

weekend the President declared the H1N1 flu outbreak a national

emergency. Very well, are there any inoculations available for cold

weather? Homelessness? Unemployment? Underemployment? A government with

seven billion dollars in aid money for social programs in Pakistan

tells its own unemployed, “Well, we will just have to wait and see.”

That’s cold comfort, Bubba! Tell your countrymen with children that

maybe there will be more jobs next year or the year after that.

The

stimulus? Maybe you haven’t been paying attention, and very little has

been reported in the news what with Jon and Kate and the balloon boy,

but most of the stimulus has been swallowed whole by the gaping budget

deficits. Many of the highway projects have been postponed because of a

precipitous fall in highway fuel tax revenue. The cities, the states

and counties of this nation face billions in budget shortfalls. Their

plan is simple, cut workers, cut services, cut pensions, cut wages. Of

course in government they use euphemisms to explain this, but out here

on the street we call this plan “Fuck you!”

So, Congress

explains how they’re fighting for or against healthcare reform to

people sleeping in tents. How they will fight to the ends of the earth

for the public option when what was needed was single payer, but that

was off the table because corporations couldn’t profit off of your

illness with single payer. They treat us like the Eloi, and millions of

gullible sheep are sitting quietly and waiting for the sirens to go off.

We’ve

become a populace living in a semi-conscience state, unaware and

clueless. Numb and emotionless, clinging to meaningless euphemisms and

statistics. Reciting jingoistic slogans over a mother’s tears. A

“casualty” means that some American boy’s head has been splattered on

the ground for some god-damned political theory for the ignorant.

Wasted in the name of corporate America, but we love our troops.

We

love our troops until they come home and are discharged; then they’re

just another bum, another loser. That’s how we refer to any Americans

not above justice or above poverty. These are how Americans are treated

with contempt and neglect, blamed for all that has gone wrong in the

American economy.

That blame is aided and abetted by media

murderers and assassins of truth, gorging on the flesh of human misery.

Marching with their god-damned tea bags in one hand and their hammer

and nails in the other, looking for another poor sucker to nail to that

cross in the name of God. I shake my head and wonder, where do these

people live?

Waving their flags and professing their love for

a country that wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire. Crying

undying love for a country that lets its citizens drown out of a fear

of breaking the law or get thrown out into the streets in the name of

good banking reform. It shakes my soul to say it, but I will say it and

will continue to say it until I see different, loving this country is

not much different than falling in love with a prostitute.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.