If You Don’t Think Luck Is Involved In Success, You’ve Only Read About It


Is it me, or has society always been this coarse? Has a plethora of media shone a light into every nook and cranny or has America fundamentally changed, and now it’s every man for himself, and if I have to climb over you to get what I want, tough noogies.

But it’s not only Christie. It’s those employees in New York who rigged the disability game, who said they couldn’t leave the house and turned out to be sportfishing with their free time. Did this always happen, or when the President lies about getting a blow job and a previous majordomo employs voodoo economics to allow a whole slab of consumers to pull away from the rest (yes, I’m speaking of the vaunted Ronald Reagan) the rest of the populace wakes up and says…I’m gonna be a chump?

Sometimes that’s what I feel like. Because I’m not a lying, cheating, scumbag.

Hate to burst your bubble, but that’s what the music business is. It may be driven by tech, but theft and dishonesty and intimidation are still baked in. But the artists used to be pure, right?

I’m not so sure about that. But they used to be informed, they used to be leaders, they paid lip service in their songs to a better life wherein we were all brothers together. Now they sell VIP passes if they’re not scalping their tickets outright and might have Twitter accounts but make sure to fly private and live in gated communities, because that’s what the rich and powerful do today, remove themselves from the rest of us, throwing us crumbs and disinformation along the way to keep us ignorant. Kind of like the plethora of Republicans who don’t believe in evolution. I mean if we can’t agree on science, there’s no place to start, and that’s exactly my point, I’m not sure where we’re starting today.

Jaron Lanier laments that when these tech companies triumph on our backs only a few get rich, we pay with our information, but we don’t share in the spoils, not even a discount on a new hand-set. And I used to pooh-pooh his viewpoint but Snapchat and Instagram are worthless without our participation. In the sixties there’d be revolt. But today, all musicians want to do is complain about Spotify payouts when streaming won, did you see that track sales are down? CDs, vinyl, paper books, I wish all the Luddites would get their respective heads out of their rear ends and start looking forward so they could affect the future, but they can’t, it’s just too scary, they’ve got to stay in the past, lamenting the Zuckerbergs who came of age in the twenty first century and realize there are no rules, when bankers ruin the country and go free and taxes are low and there’s no safety net if you’re not busy raping and pillaging, you’re busy starving.

So an honest forthright person gets no slap on the back, instead he gets a slap in the face. He loses his unemployment insurance, and state governments refuse to give him his Medicaid. And I don’t want to make this a right versus left equation, Republicans versus Democrats, then again, Democrats propagated the notion that we were all in it together and had to take care of each other, before they all sold out to lobbyists.

So now we don’t look to governments to solve our problems, but icons like Elon Musk. Actually, if income inequality is eviscerated it will be by one of these visionaries, not the public at large, because there are no more public movements, none with any traction. The Tea Party is a fiction run by the Kochs and other fat cats and the organizers of Occupy Wall Street were so busy saying there were no leaders that the holier-than-thou media buried them. Yup, we still live in a media-controlled world, and if you think your Tumblr makes a difference, you probably believe your Pinterest page is influencing Anna Wintour.

But it comes down to education. Most people are not smart enough to grasp the issues. That’s the mark of an educated person, someone who can hold two conflicting ideas in their brain at one time. Like the value of a concert ticket is $300, but if we charge that, real fans won’t be able to get in. But screw the real fans, our customer is the Fortune 500, the advertisers, right?

Right. Isn’t that what it used to be about? Right and wrong? Isn’t that what your parents taught you, before they went to school and argued with the teacher, telling them Little Johnny couldn’t possibly be wrong? In the old days, we quaked in our boots if we brought a note home from school, now parents defend their children as if it’s impossible for their progeny to do any wrong.

And they see their boss making millions and paying little taxes.

And they see the riches paraded by the Kardashian Krew.

And they say to themselves, why should I be honest, why should I have good values, why should I hunker down and study hard to make more of myself when the ruling class is dealing with this country like it’s its playtoy, not caring a whit whether someone is sacrificed in the end. It’s like our whole country is playing musical chairs, and if you’re handicapped or sick, too bad, you’re gonna end up out.

So I don’t know what to believe in.

Used to be it was records. Before music turned into two camps, the ultra-rich singing about their lifestyle who want nothing to do with us, who represent nothing more than aspirational figures, and the bitching untalented, without good voices or chops who just complain that they can’t make it here.

Not everybody deserves to make it.

But everybody deserves an opportunity. Everybody is entitled to food on the table and a roof over their head. As for the “winners,” they can’t win without us buying their products and if you don’t think luck is involved in success, you’ve only read about it.

So I’m sitting this one out. I’m not going to listen to the bloviators. I am going to applaud the “New York Times” for doing its job. I’m not going to read the Roger Ailes bio because I already know he’s a scumbag and the people who don’t are never going to be convinced otherwise.

Still, if we’re all looking for the edge, if we’re all trying to climb the greased totem pole, what is end game?

The truth is the game is rigged. And until we’re willing to stand back and say we’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore…

You won’t be able to get an abortion.

You’ll never escape your college debt.

You won’t pay any income tax, but the truth is the poor never do, and the corporations don’t either. We’re heading straight towards bankruptcy, not because of some fictional debt issue, but because we won’t fund schools, we won’t fix bridges, we won’t invest in the infrastructure this country needs to move forward.

Kind of like Christie. Who killed the NY/NJ tunnel. Forget bad traffic at the George Washington Bridge for a couple of days, for years after this blowhard retires ingress and egress to the city will be hampered. Oh, that’s right, the rich can afford to live in Manhattan… What about their domestics? The street sweepers? The firemen? The cops?

All being driven to dishonesty by a country wherein the top is triumphing and the bottom is getting squeezed out and the only thing that matters is your bank account.