♪ Somewhere way under the rainbow
Dragging round an empty pot of glue
Bruised and confused it could happen to you
Seeing for the first time that dreams can come true
When childish habits are slow to die
You might look up and wonder why
Things snowball in the twinkling of an eye ♪
— “Things Snowball,” John Wesley Harding
Your audiophilic WPT host had designs on opening this header on the Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to the United States of America with a quote from Gene Phillips’ “Wonder What the Poor Folks Are Doin’,” which mostly castigates the rich folks who do nothing for the poor folks, as one doesn’t.
But, in a situation Uvular never expected to encounter in the year of someone’s lord 2018, nothing but the title of the song exists anywhere on the World Wide Web. No lyrics. No video. Not even a Spotify stream. Thank someone else’s lord that “Blues Before Sunrise”* remains in syndication to reinsert what never should have vanished from the collective consciousness.
Back to the report.
The United States has one of the highest poverty and inequality levels among the OECD countries, and the Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranks it 18th out of 21 wealthy countries in terms of labour markets, poverty rates, safety nets, wealth inequality and economic mobility. But in 2018 the United States had over 25 per cent of the world’s 2,208 billionaires. There is thus a dramatic contrast between the immense wealth of the few and the squalor and deprivation in which vast numbers of Americans exist.
Current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley responded in typical rich person fashion, “How dare you tell me the truth and make me feel even momentarily uncomfortable.”
But back to the epigraph and video that does precede this header. As bad as poverty in places like Alabama and Los Angeles’ Skid Row** have become, all the policies and programs of the Trump administration will turbo charge the downward slide, widen the gulf between haves and have-nots, and other cutesy euphemistic expressions for literally making financially disadvantaged people live on the ground floors of 10-story outhouses.
With so much to angry up the blood, do not pick and choose. Ignore nothing, protest it all, and prioritize your outrage only to the extent that this one damn thing happened this very instant. Then return to all the other outrages. Pause only to comment below without remembering to let your rage shine through your postings.
n.b., On his debut U.S. album Here Comes the Groom, the once and future (and much more Google-able) Wesley Stace somehow combined the arena rock power balladry of late-stage Chicago with the Dust Bowl troubadourism of Woody Guthrie, punning on his own name and stealing from Bob Dylan all the while. He even cops to this on his somehow not hit single “Bastard Son.” Check out the whole record for a weird and wonderful sonic adventure through the time between hair bands and grunge. Also, photo credit to Reuters/Lucas Jackson.
*Uvular cannot make any Politicados download Hour 4 of the June 17, 2018, show. He merely insists in that whiny and passive-aggressive way he has.
**”A 2017 report documents the prevalence of hookworm in Lowndes County, Alabama.” And, “In Skid Row, LA., 6,696 arrests of homeless persons were reported to have been made between 2011 and 2016.” And, “Americans can expect to live shorter and sicker lives, compared to people living in any other rich democracy, and the “health gap” between the U.S. and its peer countries continues to grow.” That rapporteur actually pulled his punches in his official 2018 report after throwing absolute haymakers in the preliminary statement he issued in mid-December 2017.