Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Underclass Keeps it All Up

i'm not a sociologist, nor an anthropologist, nor a psychologist. I'm not an ologist of any kind. Just so you know.

What I am is fed up with sad. There is entirely too much sad and there are way too many addicts. Sadly. I remember dancing to records about going to San Francisco. Believing I would get out of the burbs one day and that I would at that point be able to join the singers, painters, lovers who were busy making the world hum. When I did get to Berkely, in the mid-seventies, I saw yuppies and drug addicts. Drank cappuchino and stepped around the meth freaks as they ranted. Where did all those drugs come from, anyway?

There were the strong, sexy sixties, with remarkably unified voices protesting racism, military industrial war-mongering, poverty, then the war ended in Vietnam, Watergate happened, and a whole bunch of drugs came into the country and blasted the living brains out of some brilliant heads.

The same people are poor. The same dealers rule the streets. The same wars are fought for profit and adventure, and the people who populate the underclass are stil stoned, or trying to get stoned, or in prison or hospitals because they got stoned or got caught (!) doing something stupid. I put that cute little parenthetical exclamation point there because that seems so silly to me. The people committing crimes are not very well hidden. How do they decide which ones to catch, say, on Thursday mornings?

I'm fed up with sad. One of my family members married a woman who is addicted to crack. She was clean when they met, but crack is very good at keeping the people down. The drug doesn't leave anybody who has had a fling with it alone for long, apparently. She will be going to jail soon. She should already be there, but her current legal status is as mysterious as is the fact that crack is there for her, right where she expects it to be, right where everyone in this city knows it is, any time she wants it. Why is that, I wonder? It's a strange reality to get a fix on, isn't it? The underclass has, and knows, it's place, and the other classes are just glad it all keeps working out.

1 comment:

Martin Heavisides said...

A lot of the drugs people were doing then came out of Vietnam. Nobody knows yet what the CIA's take was, but American Gangster tells of one ingenious use of coffins being returned stateside.One of the many ways that, as both Lafferty and Lessing have mentioned, war turns on its profitability.