This piece, No Road Back by Daveparts, has got me thinking about a recent series of conversations I’ve had with some homeless folks.

We were talking about this new song, Titanium by David Guetta, ft. Sia, after it had come on the radio.  Catchy tune.  Good beats.  Great vocals.  Something I’ve heard on the radio now and again, as have they.  (And yes, they listen to the radio sometimes.  I guess that means they’re not homeless?  Give them a refrigerator and I guess they’re not poor?)  I was having a casual talk … small talk … and the like.  And then one of the guys said, “That’s right, we’re all bulletproof now.”  I asked what he meant by that.  He said listen to the words: “I’m bulletproof, nothing to lose”.

And I got it.  He was correct.  When you have nothing to lose, you are “bulletproof”.  Homeless people know this already.  They live with it on a daily basis.  When they take everything.  When they steal everything, and then buy politicians to make what they did retroactively legal, or give retroactive immunity.  When they take the jobs, ship them overseas for the slave labor there.  Manipulate commodity prices while millions starve and make it that much harder to survive … (Ya, this list goes on, and on, and on, and …)  What do we have left?  Debt?  A life that is only about survival?

What’s to lose?  What’s left?  Civil liberties?  Don’t make me laugh.  The right to … what rights do we even have anymore?  We need a new section in the Constitution that in addition to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we also get the right not to be droned, nor be indefinitely detained, nor be tortured.  (Ya, we need a separate section, because apparently the whole “life, liberty” part, and things like “due process” just don’t spell it out clearly enough.)

So they stole it all?  What next?  Are they going to take my life?  As my conversational partner said: “Fuck it, let them, … they can have it, cause it ain’t worth shit, … at least the torture would end, … what am I living for?, … I got nothing left to live for and the only thing that keeps me going is my animal survival instinct, … how long do you think that will last?”  You work around enough homeless people and talk, I mean really talk and try to listen to what they’re saying, then you know whn they start voicing these concerns, they don’t have long left.  Everyone has these thoughts.  But to voice it … It’s called acceptance.

I hear it all the time in their words.  They’re spent.  Used up.  Hallowed out.  They’re “tired”.  I’ve heard this word many times.  Too many times.  I really really fucking hate that word!  This isn’t the spent-all-day-with-the-family-on-a-trip tired.  This is the exhaustion of the soul.  This is their survival instinct that’s tired.  They’re tired, so very fucking tired.  It goes all the way down.  Down to their very being.  When they start saying things like this, it’s bad bad fucking sign.  Stick a fork in it … might as fucking well …

There’s nothing in there anymore except for the animal survival instinct on autopilot.  It’s empty.  It’s the void.  “The hole”.  There’s no coming back from the hole.  Because whatever comes back, it’s not you.  Take away all that is good, decent, hopeful, optimistic … ie. that which makes us human beings, and all you have left is the human animal.  A very very sick animal.  With a disease of the mind.  The rot runs deep.  All the way to the core.  There’s no coming back from the hole.

From dave:

There is a shattering reality which comes with acceptance that this prolonged poverty daily saps your soul and your strength, it robs you of who you really are. You have become something different from who you once were, you begin to lose your identity and become a cold empty shell unsure of how to act anymore.

Poverty and homelessness change you.  They make you less human being, and more human animal.  Perspectives change.  Priorities change.  Opinions change.  As one of the guys once said to me, “Don’t care what the fuck you think.  Unless you’ve lived on the streets.  Unless you’ve gone hungry for days.  Unless you’ve gotten to not eating for 5 days, … yup, you’re remade on the 5th.  Unless you’ve ever eaten from the garbage … do you know how much fucking food, that you can still eat, that “civilized society” throws away?  And they would rather throw it away then give it to us.  Unless you’ve been treated like this … like less than an animal.  Unless you’ve begged for spare change.  And have most people ignore you.  Or look at you with revulsion, as they kick down some loose change as charity … change that means nothing to them … they spend more every day for their coffees and bagels … and even giving that little they still look at you like you were less than shit … and they do, they think you are sad and pathetic for having to beg, … even though it’s their fucking world and their fucking rules, … but ya, we are literally less than their shit.  Unless you’ve felt that, that … it’s not even contempt, … they don’t think of us as even humans, …  So until you’ve been through all of this, … ya, I don’t give a fuck what you think.”  (Paraphrasing, but I write a lot of this stuff down for my own records and this fairly accurate.  However my point is to express this person’s perspective and intentions, and I believe those emotions are communicated accurately.)

What’s this person going to do now.  Pull up his bootstraps?  Start a company?  Hell, can he even hold down a job after years of mental torture?  Stres that none of us can even imagine?  Society discards these people.  Forgets them.  Ignores them.  Defunds any programs that prevent this slow torture of the soul.  And we expect them to just “forget it” and “move on”?  Get a job working minimum wage, with no benefits?  A dead end job that only feeds into corporate profits?  Contribute to society?  Most of these corporations pay less percentage in taxes than I do and do not contribute to society.  So basically have them contribute to corporations?  Really?  All the politicians work these corporations anyway:

10 Big Companies That Pay No Taxes (and Their Favorite Politicians)

Between 2008 and 2011, 26 major American corporations paid no net federal income taxes despite bringing in billions in profits, according to a new report (PDF) from the nonprofit research group Citizens for Tax Justice. CTJ calculates that if the companies had paid the full 35 percent corporate tax rate, they would have put more than $78 billion into government coffers.

78 Billion?!  On the plus side those shite creators, oops I mean job creators, can now buy more politicians.  Woohoo, ain’t democracy grande?

erizon Communications
Profits: $19.8 billion    Effective tax rate: -3.8%

Top recipients, 2011-2012
President Barack Obama: $51,493
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.): $24,450
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $23,700
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): $22,500
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): $15,000General Electric
Profits: $19.6 billion    Effective tax rate: -18.9%

Top recipients, 2011-2012
Mitt Romney: $53,750
President Barack Obama (D): $30,493
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.): $23,900
Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.): $21,860
Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.): $19,750

Profits: $14.8 billion Effective tax rate: -5.5%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.): $31,750
Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.): $25,000
Former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.): $23,500
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): $23,125
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): $20,986

NextEra Energy: North America’s largest solar and wind power operator, based in Florida
Profits: $8.8 billion Effective tax rate: -2%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
George LeMieux (R-Fla.): $9,500
Mike Haridopolos (R-Fla.): $4,800
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): $2,000
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): $2,000
Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.): $2,000

American Electric Power: Electric utility based in Columbus, Ohio
Profits: $8.2 billion Effective tax rate: -6.4%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): $34,750
Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio): $34,050
Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio): $21,700
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.): $19,750
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio): $18,450

Pacific Gas & Electric: California electrical utility
Profits: $6 billion Effective tax rate: -8.4%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
President Barack Obama (D): $6,250
Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.): $5,000
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.): $5,500
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.): $5,000
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.): $3,500

Apache: Houston-based oil and gas company
Profits: $6 billion Effective tax rate: -0.3%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
David Dewhurst (R-Texas): $25,000
Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.): $5,000
Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.): $2,500
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas): $2,500
Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas): $2,500
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $2,500
Brendan Doherty (R-R.I.): $2,500

Consolidated Edison: New York energy company
Profits: $5.9 billion Effective tax rate: -1.3%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): $15,050
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): $8,000
Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.): $6,650
Then-Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.): $2,500
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.): $1,500
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.): $1,500
Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.): $1,500

El Paso: Houston-based energy company that operates the country’s largest natural gas pipeline
Profits: $4.6 billion Effective tax rate: -0.9%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
David Dewhurst (R-Texas): $7,500
Mitt Romney (R): $5,000
Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.): $3,000
Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.): $2,750
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.): $2,500
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.): $2,500
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $2,500
Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas): $2,500
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.): $2,500
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.): $2,500

CenterPoint Energy: Electric and gas utility company based in Houston
Profits: $3.1 billion Effective tax rate: -11.3%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
David Dewhurst (R-Texas): $22,050
Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas): $13,458
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $10,299
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.): $7,000
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas): $4,000

Yup, Ds and Rs on this list.  No worries, the Uni-party, ie. the party of douches, will unfurl some pointless kabuki to distract.  Also, 1, 2, 3, 4.

We’re losing people.  The war on the poor and powerless is taking lives on a daily basis.  But he was correct, we are “bulletproof” now.  What else can they take?  What do we have left?  Our lives?  Take it.  Our bodies?  You can harvest them for any organs you wish.  Because we will be dead, and our bodies will be lifeless and soulless husks, … not that different from our current position.  All our heroes are dead.  And all that’s left is the facade.  And when that fades …

Any way here’s the video, maybe it will help to understand: