Adulting is still hard, but on second thought, I’m taking a direct stab at it, literally, and I doubt the Boy Scouts ever taught Kajieme Powell such knifemanship

The BSA probably didn’t invite him into a mass grievance about how Chesterfield his leg and got slapped for it, either, and I doubt it was involved in use-of-force training in St. Louis to ensure that #WackLivesMatter. Or at Depot, obviously, where RCM Buddies seem to learn more about dealing with horses than in calming down their own kind. Northside Juice and the Shady Blues memes are about race only insomuch as they must be to successfully troll Americans who would be shocked, as they say, to learn about the existence of an RCMP bruiser squad that’s totally a boreal Village People, except that it’ll kill you, run a sloppy Slager story about what a threat you were to officer safety until their agency is forced to return that other guy’s phone, and descend into an early retirement of perjury conviction appeals, F-list professionally hotep motivational speaking, and saucin’ in Tsawwassen. #CommunicateToCreate! A white ally might as well go back to the old fish farm instead.

As a cracker, I feel totally safe around cops like these. Hell, Raw Ginger might even radio for an ambulance right around the time I stop needing one in order to #StayWoke.

But I’m not really here to write about bad cops today, and I’m certainly not here to write about what Fred Meyer calls premium crackers. Joe Dirtbag is anything but premium. It’s unacceptable that Oregon’s White Community won’t condemn him for willfully allowing such squalor to proliferate on his property, and it’s unfortunate that Code Enforcement won’t condemn his winery building. The fire district should burn that shit down already. Cleanse it with fire,  and consider wearing a surgical mask if you’re downwind. I’m not saying that Joe Dirtbag shouldn’t be given adequate warning to safely remove his cats, winery records (a musty nightmare in their own right), and general shiznits; he’s white trash, like Cousin Gigolo and his family but dirtier, and a self-respecting hill trashy like Cousin Gigolo’s mother wouldn’t think to burn down the trailer for the insurance money without removing the good stuff for safekeeping first.

God do I wish the trashiest we had in our family was some precious bourgeois tonguewagging about how one of the residual common-law cousins is reputed to be boning the landlady in lieu of rent. North County sugaring is never entirely reputable unless it’s done with the noble maple tree, but if I were dicking my own landlady, I wouldn’t be like, eww, don’t give me a break on rent like I’m some kind of prostitute. And don’t act like I’d never possibly be crass enough to hit a sugar mama up for a ten spot to go on a fooding spree at Dunkin’.

Feel free to file this under “contingencies for the seduction of Dagmar Midcap” or “no longer being homeless someday.” Sometimes you keep the dream alive. Other times, the dream returns the favor. Sex isn’t the only thing I’m able to obtain only on some overpriced subprime market. That’s also how I get most of my food and shelter and all of my health insurance (sic?). This inequitable, dysfunctional situation is largely a function of my socioeconomic marginalization, but if you’ve been paying any attention you already know that I’m far from the only person who’s ended up in such a jam (if not one much worse) and that this is exactly how America works. In the interest of abating distractions about the cost of pumpkin spice lattes, 1) I don’t drink that shit because I find it hella expensive even if no one else does, 2) what I’m actually doing is paying Starbucks less than a dollar an hour for wifi and electricity, with a shitload of coffee thrown in as a freebie, 3) Starbucks is one of the least rent-seeking organizations in this country, and 4) I do not object to offers to slash the rents I that already am paying, which are an order of magnitude more expensive than any coffee I’m spendthrift enough to buy. Also, I ate a can of corned beef hash and some cinnamon raisin bread for dinner last night.

The sad truth is that, as a Millennial, even an early one, I’m really pretty close to the socioeconomic mainstream. There’s nothing unusual about a Millennial being extorted out of rents he can barely afford while his propertied Boomer elders, self-esteeming sworn paragons of all relevant virtues who react with anger when they are independently assessed as anything less, gorge on every bit of seed corn within their reach and violently shit it out all over the threshing floor. No, I don’t take kindly to insinuations that I’m a disreputable allowance loser from Social Security beneficiaries who have extracted well over a thousand hours of unpaid farm labor out of me. I’m paying into their damn pension fund whenever I can, even unto my own financial hardship, so they might want to stuff it.

Joe Dirtbag and the Family Shrew didn’t just innocently blunder into hard times. It’s hard to come away from a look at their finances without concluding that they’re incredibly fucking profligate. They’re supposedly unable to make ends meet, even for their household expenses, in spite of a reverse mortgage on a primary residence worth over a quarter million dollars (probably paying out hundreds of dollars a month), over $1,600 a month in Social Security, another $225-275 in rent from a housemate, the hundreds or low-thousand-something in rent that JD collects (mostly illegally) under the table from farm tenants, another couple hundred most months from a couple of part-time jobs that the Family Shrew holds, no less than $65,000 in outright emergency gifts from my father, God knows how many tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts they’ve secured from their other moochables, at least two cord-upon-cord streams of free firewood, unpaid labor from an electrician living in a shed in their yard, unpaid labor from everyone else who puts up with them, prior rent from the same electrician back when he was staying with the squatter who dabbles in dumbass amateur electromechanical fuckery in a shack warren on an adjacent parcel, an even earlier rent stream from the same squatter’s erstwhile live-in girlfriend, and a free Subaru from the Family Shrew’s mother.

It’s reasonable to ask what in all hell these twits are doing with their money, not to mention our money. Why shouldn’t I get an additional ten-dollar Dunkin’ per diem just for putting up with these people? I’m not that likely to waste it on whores, given that it would barely cover my Kaiser premiums, and given that I also have a running average of $208 and counting for the year in savings at interest. I ate corned beef hash straight out of a can last night and then–this shouldn’t be the normal part, but it is–slept in my car. Why the fuck should I have a sad for these dipshits in their neverending time of insolvency? I’m not even convinced that they’re fundamentally broke.

Of course, they’re supposedly underwater on the farm. But they solicited private stock purchases cumulatively well into the six figures expressly to capitalize the farm. That’s fifteen grand of my net worth (sic again?) right there.

Being broke all the time makes some sense for people who piss everything away with country crackheads in Lillooet. Like, crack is expensive, dawg, and you spent all your money buying base from that Mountie sarge who used to staff the press liaison desk in Kamloops so you wouldn’t run flat out of baking supplies. That makes sense. Losing a year’s worth of advances on the family trust fund in a Camden dope house makes sense. There don’t necessarily have to be no white people up in that motherfucker, but if there are, that’s probably the kind of white people that the motherfucking municipality of Camden will get. Remember, the drugs community integrated the West End of Sacramento years before Frank Capra got around to insinuating that Mr. Martini was off-white.

All of that makes sense. It’s fucked up, but it’s explicable. Now try explaining why I’m recurrently a few hundred, and sometimes only a few dozens, of dollars above flat broke when I hardly drink, have never touched a control drug other than marijuana or maybe a dab of hashish that wasn’t prescribed to me, and have gambled maybe a hundred fifty dollars in my life. Try explaining why Joe Dirtbag and the Family Shrew are always acting so damn broke when they need money but also so damn touchy about their finances whenever they need narcissistic supply. For a couple that solicit so much financial support from everyone who has money and so much unpaid operational support from those who don’t, they’re sure easily humiliated by their own dependency on others. They welcome the money and the cash, and they welcome the free help, but only if they’re still fully reputed to be ruggedly independent.

This is why I get to be the lazy trustfunder in this scenario. This is why an entire generation gets to be lazy trustfunders. This is why we get to listen to people whose pensions we’re funding, or desperately trying to fund for a change, call us useless wastrels. If we sarcastically accuse ourselves of funemployment, it must be because we’re having fun. Have a little, why don’tcha, and banish Ellen Degeneres to the North Slope while you’re at it. This is especially rich coming from affluent children of the Baby Boom. A cohort that was raised in unprecedented prosperity and security, which it used to show affirmative disrespect for all incumbent authority figures, suck up to Johnny-come-lately cult tyrants like Rajneesh and Charles Dederich, wallow and rut like swine at Woodstock, and then, when it seemed time to make a living, used its own much sparser progeny as human collateral in a gigantic payday lending scam while simultaneously importing a practically indentured Latin American peasantry to do the dirty work it refused to pay Americans honest wages to perform, now complains that we, its spawn, are scandalously irreverent, workshy, immature, emotionally stunted and weak, financially reckless, addicted to poisonous popular culture, and generally maladjusted to life.

Oh.

If we’re sitting around in our pajamas playing GTA, watching Netflix full-time, or diddling ourselves to a combination of PornHub and Fifty Shades, maybe that’s because no one will give us a productive role to play in the economy that doesn’t turn us into Mr. Slave. We don’t learn this in school, but Cesar Chavez didn’t have any truck with the wets. He never forgot that he was the child of ruined Jeffersonians who had been run off their smallholding by the bank and forced into itinerant day bondage to a tyrannical Hamiltonian planter class. Far be it from him to be bashful about letting la migra know if he saw illegal scab labor infiltrating his country. Discussing this history might cause your parents to be embarrassed to hire randos off the Home Depot parking lot for cash jobs under the table, though, so, I dunno, maybe go back upstairs and whack off to some Jennifer Lawrence fappening leaks again.

I initially typed that in as “Home Deport.” Heh.

This dysfunction didn’t just happen out of the blue. It’s obviously a negative feedback loop, or maybe several negative feedback loops rolled into one. An infertile, idle, socially isolated population makes all too much sense in a hostile socioeconomic environment in an overpopulated country with a saturated job market. Historically, the negative feedback on population would be a hideous combination of war, famine, and disease, so things could be much worse than they are for the failson and careerist spinster communities. A bunch of losers sitting out a crappy job market will presumably put some upward pressure on wages and working conditions, even if it’s swamped by a flood of fence-jumpers and H-1B’s. It’s certainly better than a bunch of craven assholes hustling for unpaid internships, which the same upper middle class has so abundantly vomited into the economy.

Besides, at some point it becomes reasonable to tell the Boomers that if failure is our type, we’ll play to it. That should be quite fun for the affluent elderly if Trump actually shuts off the flood of foreign scab labor and wasn’t just bullshitting the Rust Belt. Speaking just for myself, me likey bigly. At some point, if yinz really think I’m a lazy, flighty piece of shit, maybe I’ll do less unpaid farm labor for propertied relatives and do more paid labor scavenging deposit bottles. Funny thing, though, that’s still work. It’s welfare with a work requirement, just what would give the Clintons much wood and wetness if it weren’t an insolent revolt against neoliberal shitstains by the semi-independent poor.

Sure as a dog licks its own balls, Joe Dirtbag will accuse me (not to my face, because he doesn’t want me to tell him to shut up and drive several hundred miles away on no notice) of being a flaky dipshit because I walked off the job without explanation during crush in September. What actually happened was that I figured out that the reason he had tried to bait me into a feud with one of his tenants and a random cop who had pulled that tenant over was that he was gaslighting us (again) and trying to extort unpaid work from the tenant, who is shacked up with his girlfriend in a short bus surrounded by a junkyard and a sushi mat-looking bamboo fence. Busboy and his woman are paying rent for that shit. When I realized what JD was doing, I was afraid that if I didn’t flee without explanation he might get violent with me, since what I had already seen of his feud with Busboy and the cop had been bizarre and disinhibited. I was afraid that he might falsely imprison me for rebuking him over this sleazy, alarming scheme, which was right on the verge of second-degree involuntary servitude. If that fucker had blocked my exit for a split second under the circumstances I would have sicced cops on his ass. In Oregon, the deal is basically that you can’t put Kunta Kinte in chains, because that’s first-degree involuntary servitude, and you also can’t use certain threats and forms of retaliation to compel labor under duress, including deprivation of shelter or threats thereof, because that’s second-degree involuntary servitude.

Yes, I think Joe Dirtbag came dangerously close to enslaving a tenant. I have absolutely no doubt that he wanted to squeeze unwilling labor out of Busboy. That’s why he was yelling about how Busboy had obviously been profiled by this “that guy’s a dick” cop for being “a young man with long hair driving an old car in the middle of the afternoon.” From what I can piece together, JD simmered down after I walked off the job, so if the Ragin’ Canajun passed my grievances along to him and got him to back off, I’m all for it. I’m also all for calling the police the moment I believe JD has put one toe over the line on second-degree involuntary servitude. It shouldn’t even remotely look like one of my relatives and business partners schemed even once to bully a tenant into day slavery. That just shouldn’t fucking happen.

And no, massa, I doesn’t whup the recalcitrant field crackas, massa. Uncle Tom? It ain’t me, lawd, it ain’t me.

Don’tcha fuckin’ know, if you treat people like slaves, at some point they’ll start acting like slaves. At some point you’ll discover that their heart isn’t in the job and that they’re passive-aggressively loafing around every bit as much as antebellum planters accused their slaves of doing when they weren’t imminently under the whip. I’ll bust ass picking blueberries for forty cents a pound without complaining, so why should I endlessly humor some cheap bastard of a geezer who expects to gaslight all around him into his service? Oregon is hardcore free soil, too; motherfucker couldn’t even be bothered to take that shit to Missouri. Why in the name of John Fremont shouldn’t I call the police already? Why shouldn’t I ask Porky to keep an eye on that Picktonian squalor and shut it the hell down the moment it crosses the line into crime?

Blood is supposedly thicker than water, but I can attest that it isn’t thicker than the desperately writing body of a rat stuck in a glue trap while I frantically try to euthanize it with the nearest kitchen knife so that it doesn’t suffer all night. Notwithstanding the Canadian oral tradition, sometimes there is a use in complaining when you got a job to do. You know, Adams, in a less shitty world I might be making time with a Canadian broad at some drive-in and not incrementally trying to exterminate the vermin that a derelict who has fifteen thousand dollars of my investment money is willfully allowing to infest his winery.

The rats are back, by the way. Just last night I watched one slide down a copper feed pipe to the winery sink, like a fireman down a pole. It would be cute if it weren’t a god-awful channel of filth. Wild rats indoors are nothing but vectors of shit carpeting and disease. In addition to the rats, JD now has a kitty litter box under a barrel table, barely a yard from a row of fermenters that he has yet to finish pressing, and he’s housing a colony of indoor-outdoor raccoons as well. The guy who drove me into homelessness is now curating no fewer than two prized reservoirs of rabies in a food processing space that I’m helping him bankroll, along with a box full of shit and congealed piss from his growing pride of useless pet cats. Then again, what else should be expected of someone who tolerated Lady Pisspan and Pot-o-Shit Friend on his property?

I’m one of as few as two people other than Joe Dirtbag who’s willing to set foot in that winery building at all. The Ragin’ Canajun’, who personally cleaned up after Pot-o-Shit Friend, can hardly stand the building. I was emotionally strong and focused enough to do what I could to promptly euthanize frantic, squirming rats while they violently soiled themselves in sheer deathly terror. I did this because I considered it prudent to minimize the spreading carpet of rat shit and cull the colony. I would have done more of it months ago had the colony’s adults not wised up to the glue traps. I may well try to exterminate the current colony in the same fashion, again because I don’t want fucking rat shit everywhere in an active food processing facility that I co-own.

Yeah, this is totally how a Millennial would deal with a rat infestation. I must be a pussy-ass Fauntleroy to personally euthanize proliferating vermin so that they spend as little of their lives as possible reenacting the passion of Marcos Archer Cardoso Moreira but also aren’t allowed to spend four successive generations eating two thirds of the cat food and beshitting a winery from cradle to grave.

 

Quite a nice Upton Sinclair story, wasn’t it? Hell if I can imagine Joe Dirtbag paying for a professional exterminator without being so ordered by a court, though, or patching the walls so that they aren’t riddled with holes. If I ask him to pay me, I’m sure he’ll tell me that it was never his idea to exterminate the rats in the first place. Well, no shit. That’s the problem.

Hippies are dirty as hell, fam. General Sherman’s spirit is too much upon Gatlinburg and too little upon the property of Yankees who ape the worst parts of the highland South.

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