Flat Earth Society 1 - More Fun With Fundies 

 

Rank and Privilage

I recently had a dream (sounds like Martin Luther King), and it was a surrealistic one at that. I turned on the TV, and on every station was a special news bulletin. On the screen, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Rice and the whole gang were being lead into waiting police vans, shackled together and wearing orange prison jump suits. by heavilly armed police. I remembered the news commentator saying, "we don't have any detailed information yet, but it seems that the Bush admininstration has been taken into custody for the commission of hight crimes against humanity and the people of the United States. As we get more information, we'll pass it on, stay tuned." In the dream I began to call friends on the phone, which was when I woke up...was it real or Memorex?

I doubt such a scene will ever play out in reality, since the power elite never seem to pay for their crimes. They're wealthier than God, well connected, convincing and without conscience, which guarantees all of them walking away scott free. People like this "always" walk away scott free. There is always a scapegoat, a patsy, somwhere way down in the pecking order who will take the rap for the actions of the ruling class. It doesn't matter whether it's in politics, the military or business, I have always seen this to be the case, and have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that this is a fact of life, "social rank has it's privilage."

I learned about rank and privilage early in life. I grew up in a two class Massachusetts mill town, white collar and blue collar, made up of Catholics, Jews and Wasps. The Jewish kids in my town were all destined and groomed by their parents to be doctors, lawyers, dentists, corporate executives and engineers as were a lot of the Wasps. Most of the Jews and Wasps lived in the two upscale parts of town, Belvedere and the Highlands, with us Catholics making up most of the blue collar working class on the other side of the tracks. My Dad was a fireman, a hard working guy with a heart of gold. He regularly said thay saving lives and property were his best reward, and lived the fire fighter's creed. Most of my playmates were from all 3 basic food groups; Catholic, Protestant and Jew, but we Catholics were looked down on as the lower class due to most of us being from blue collar families.

It's funny, but the good looking kids and those from wealthier breeding stock always managed to get away with murder at school, since their parents carried a lot of weight in the PTA. If I did 1/10th of what some of my upper crust peers did, I would have been expelled and been groujnded until I was 65 years old.

I took the college prep route during high school but was forced into the general/business prep due to flunking trig and geometry, but carried straight A's in college prep chemistry, physics, English, history and social studies. My student guidance counselor told me I could never aspire to any lofty social position considering my grades and social standing, so suggested I look into general office work, factory work or a day laborer. I was not allowed to take the SAT's.

My old man was a Navy vet, who saw action at Normandy, as were my uncles, who were all in WWII or Korea. I attended an 18 month certificate tech school, where I carried close to a 4.0 average. Since the Viet Nam meat grinder was at it's peak, I joined the Navy in hopes of getting into electronics, which I did.

You expect there to be a definite pecking order in the military (chain of command) and there was a sharp line between those of us who saluted and those who were saluted to. When we were out at sea, we enlisted ate on the mess deck from stamped steel trays, while officer's ate from fine china and were served in the officers mess. Some officers were arrogant, egotistical pieces of work, while others enjoyed spending time with us monkeys as just one of the guys.

I remember a funny story a medical corpsman I had coffee and went out drinking with told me. About a week after we left a port, an announcement was usually made over the ship's 1MC (public address system), "the skin clinic (VD Clinic) was open in sick bay." The corpsman told me that different entries were made in a sailor's record, depending on rank. If an enlisted man contracted gonorrea from a prostitute while we were in port, it was entered into his record as "Petty Officer 2nd Class, Billy Jim-Bob Cratchet got himself the clap from a hooker that he picked up in a bar." If an officer (and a gentleman) picked up the same hooker, the entry was different, "Lieutenant Commander Smedley Rockefeller accidentally contracted a slight social disease from a female companion." I never did get to visit the skin clinic myself, but there was usually a long line of sheepish looking guys milling around outside of sick bay on those days.