The System As It Is Today: 1-11-11

Hi there.

Today I began handing out the literature to begin the revolution against the rich.  I stopped into a few coffee shops, and co-ops and they were all very receptive to the concept of redistributing the wealth.

I then headed to downtown SF and handed out as many flyers as I could to anyone that would take them.  As I approached one woman who was digging through a trash can I asked her if she would be supportive of a complete change to the system.  Her defenses immediately went up and she began screaming at me, “Don’t give me your bullshit paper!”

“I’m on your side.  I’m trying to stand up with you against the rich.”  I stood there holding my paper out to her.

“There is no rich!”  She raged.

“Would you at least read this and consider it?”  I asked as I placed the flyer at her feet.  She immediately stomped on it and spit at me.

“There is no rich, you fool!  They’re all dead!”  She said.

I backed down and began to walk away as she continued to scream at me “You’re all dead!”  I made it about a block before I had to sit down and collect myself.  It was as if she had no hope.  The tears began to come.  Her reaction to me made the injustices of our current system sparkle before my eyes and my head began to spin.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned through my years of playing music for people, it’s that I can’t please them all…so I’ve developed a pretty thick skin to rejection.

I gathered myself and walked over to City Hall to begin to wade through the red tape in order to get a permit for the non-violent demonstration in the Financial District on March 15.

The security guard referred me to the business office of City Hall.  Then they referred me to the City Supervisor’s office a few floors up.  Then they referred me to the Hall Of Justice at 850 Bryant.

So I walked down to the Hall Of Justice, handing out a few more flyers on the way.  As I approached Mission St, I began to hear the the raspy voice of an old man who had probably made the choice of one too many cigarettes in his life.  He was yelling at the top of his voice:  “Give me back my money!  Give me back my money!”  I could hear him from a block away.

As I approached the situation I could begin to discern who he was yelling at.  It was a middle aged black woman with business attire.  A small crowd was already gathered at the intersection near Mission and 7th.  It appeared to me that the woman began to shield herself from the screaming of the old man by moving onto the other side of the crowd.  I was through the middle of the intersection by that time, and began to hear a younger black woman with her husband and small child.  She asked  the first black woman in business attire:  “Do you have that man’s money?”

As I began to pass around the crowd I could began to get a glimpse of the old man that had been yelling.  He was hunched over, limping with a cane.  He had a ratty old stocking cap and hadn’t shaved in a couple days.  He appeared to be miserable.  He couldn’t stop screaming:  “Give me back my money!”

I stopped and asked the woman in business attire, “Do you have that man’s money?”

“He’s got my glasses.”  She said.  She herself was wearing glasses.  You know, the kind Sarah Palin wears.

“What glasses?”  I asked.  She stepped back not knowing what to say next. I stepped back also and continued to watch her.  In fact I was willing her to give the man back his money.

Eventually she took a very small wad of cash out of her pocket.  Then she gave it back to the man.

When is enough.  Enough?

As I entered the Hall Of Justice for the first time that I wasn’t paying a vehicle registration fine, I made my way to the Southern Office.  They don’t allow you to enter the office, instead you have to talk on a phone through a bullet-proof window.  Just like prison.

The officer that talked to me asked me for the specific location of the demonstration.

“Well, that depends on how many people show up.”  I replied.  The officer got out a map and asked me for some possible street names.  “How about the intersection of Commercial and Kearny.”

Another officer came into the room and asked me what the demonstration was about.

“The redistribution of wealth.”  I said.

Both officers gave me a big smile and said, “Oh, of course, the Financial District.”

They then gave me a number to call to get the permit.  Talk about the run-around.

System diagnosis:                                                                                                                                                                                                               1   2    3    4    5    6   7    8    9   10

Dysfunctional –  – –  – – >  Broken

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