It’s so cold, so very, very cold. I walk along my usual route, eyes scanning the ground for any half smoked stubs, small change or shiny objects of worth. In the corner of a building just off the side street, I see four black bins left out for tomorrow’s collection, might as well settle here for the night. I arrange them so as to block the wind and to avoid the eyes of those that wish to hurt me, take what little I have, or to bully me into giving up my newfound home. It’s so cold I need to shoot up. I kneel behind my fort, removing my half loaf from the backpack – an illusion as it is merely there to hide my syringe and dope. I cook the crack on my spoon I stole from a friend who trusted me too much, pull the hammer back and suck up the liquid death. I check again to see if anyone is watching, I still have some dignity left after all. I tap the crevice of my arm, trying to find a vein – it hurts when I miss. I inject the poison and feel warm, fuzzy; my brain slides into automatic mode, no worries and no problems. When the rich folk see me, they think I am addicted, that I do it to get the courage to steal, to rob and rape – how wrong they are, it is just for the warmth, to dull my senses enough to be able to sleep. A security guard I did not hear approach taps the dustbins and starts shouting at me to move from here, I hear him only in the distance, a muffled voice. I pack up my cardboard mattress and plastic bag sheet, fold my things up and try to stand, only to stumble and fall against the wall. I hear the security guard laugh at me, obviously amused at my predicament – he waits until I am done packing and moves on. I find the next crevice in the wall, and make a new bed there for the night, the drugs are wearing off and I don’t have much more, I need to sleep before I am awake again.
No Human being should live like a rat; we are all dealt a hand of cards when we first enter this world. Sometimes it is possible to play the hand in such a manner as to gain more than we started with; sometimes it is impossible to escape it. Mankind has the ability and foresight to entertain the idea of an equal and dignified life for all. “Why should I give what I have when I work for it and they don’t?” One-percent of people around the world hold more wealth than ninety-nine percent of the worlds population, let that sink in for a second. If you just take the United States dollar currency and look at the M2 money supply, there is $10.5 trillion in circulation, or $1312 per person for the entire planet. Add that along with all other currencies and you quickly build on to that number. To those who throw up their hands and say, “I work for it, they should too!” honestly only fool themselves. One or other form of technology, right now, right here could potentially replace every job in the world. Imagine a world where no one has to work and receives a disposable income similar to what is mentioned above. What value does money have then, when no one has to work for it? What value does it have now, other than what we collectively value it as? It is just paper, yet it determines so very much of our everyday lives – whether we are the rat scourging the streets, or viewing it happening from the comfort of our apartment above. “Communism!” is all I hear, yet is it? It’s humanitarianism. We were born into a world where everyone chose to abide by the rule of cash; I believe we’ve outgrown it. We are equals – or can be – what determines the divide is how much paper and numbers on a screen you have. If we do not start now, the population will run away from us and we face an unequal “democracy” for the rest of time. One day in the future, when some super power decides money has surpassed its purpose, then you will listen, now however you won’t because this is idealistic, it is too far fetched. Yet idealism is nothing more but the reality of tomorrow’s world.
“I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's no one anywhere that seems to know what to do with us. Now into it. We know the air is unfit to breathe, our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy so we don't go out anymore. We sit in a house as slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller and all we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster, and TV, and my steel belted radials and I won't say anything." Well I'm not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad. I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crying in the streets. All I know is first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm a human being. God Dammit, my life has value." So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" I want you to get up right now. Get up. Go to your windows, open your windows, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Things have got to change my friends. You've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open your window, stick your head out and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" - Paddy Chayefsky
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