Paul Haeder, Author

writing, interviews, editing, blogging

So many old and lovely things are stored in the world’s attic, because we don’t want them around us and we don’t want to throw them out.”

John Steinbeck, The WInter of Our Discontent

Some of the people I intersect with believe that hitting the brick wall at 50 mph (Hillary, Kamala, Dem-Blue) is much better than hitting it at 85 mph (DiSantis, Trump 2024, Mike Pence).

I remind them that our medical system is so broken, and even now with an ambulance driver shortage, hitting the wall at 85 is instant death, and at 50 mph is a protracted ugly, private insurance hell, medical malpractice torture chamber, continual vegetative state horror. And, alas, no ambulances, man:

Here, Bonnie Scotland: “What is being done to ease the ambulance ‘crisis’? How bad is the problem? On Thursday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament that the ambulance service was already “operating at its highest level of escalation”.” Emergency call handlers in Scotland have been receiving about 10,000 calls a month more this summer than they were last year. Crews are not getting to all of those additional patients because there are simply not enough ambulances on the road. Then, “Shanghai steps up efforts to address ambulance shortage. Then, USA: Ambulance shortage in St. Louis City causing concern for EMS workers: ‘It’s like life or death'” ; “N.Y. County to supplement ambulance service — To make up for area agencies’ staffing shortfalls, Niagara County employees will respond to calls in two ambulances during the day and one at night.”

It is a failed state, one of those country’s where there are individual states with individual cities where the riches are concentrated, and then these no-man lands where workers service the rich, the powerful. Then, a middle class that is frightened like shaved cats. Then, so many many broken people from broken homes, with unbelievable violence and trauma and just plain meanness by parents who not only should have been sterilized, but shot for the crimes and the inhumanity purpetrated against children.

Then, how do those household of children in the millions relate to the world as teenagers, adults?

I was just talking with a 53 year old, self-described surfer from California, but who has been in Reno for 20 plus years. he told to homes, got his half a million in cash, and is looking to buy a 1928 broken down home here in the town I live in.

Really broken down. The previous owner was there, for a few years after coming here to take care of an ailing mother. He sold it for $150,000 (it is really, swaying and crocked with sagging window frames, and a floor that is sloping halfway inside from ground sinking, and thise fellow says that hell of a jerk of a buyer is selling it for $280,000.

That is America, the house flipping disgusting place of trauma after trauma. No socialism, and get rich schemes that would make Trump look like a door to door candy saleman.

This is it, though: so many Americans work 9 to five to srew their fellow citizen, to get one or many things up on them, working for companies that make money on fines, fees, add-ons, gimmicks, taxation, tolls, service fees, etc. They work to sell products that are faulty or dangerous, they work to hawk lies and toxic things. They work for a fee or salary, and they are whores for the Fortune 5000, or they are hiking prices, and, while they do that 9 to 5, after work they go into their solitary confinement, with big backyards, big screen TVs, BBQ patios, pools, ATVs and motorcycles, motorhomes. They want nothing to do with community.

This fellow has worked all his life, said he never finished school, self-described as ADHD, problems reading, but he did construction and demolition, and he has a 26 year old daughter in Reno. He said he understands my gig — social work with homeless, substance abusers, ex-felons, adults with developmental disabilities. He said his best workers were folk with ID or DD.

He’s rough in his demeanor, and he can carry on a conversation, but he still can’t get that being born from a bad seed, being brought up in hell, victims, not natural born killers, but killers, druggies, and disfunctional. He sort of tried to tell me about homelessness, but then he backed down.

He is another one, probably pretty good, who doesn’t believe the Ukraine Lie Narrative, but still, he is of another mindset, interestingly American: surfer, pulling his trailer with old Jeep, living in a fifth wheel, wanting an old house not to tear down and rejigger the land for two or three condo type things, but to live in an old house because he likes old things.

So many men in situations of men aging, locked in some timeframe of the past. Locked in belief systems that were wrong to begin with and still carried over now, while they are in a country that is really the same shit-hole in the 1950s or 1990s. Except, there are so many more in the USA, at 360,000,00.

Things do not go better with Coke. Plastics in your feces is just one harbinger of decay. The housing crisis is another harbinger of bad times, discontent. The systems of oppression, the privatization of everything and then the externalities of the corporations laying more and more of the burden of pollution, defaults, prisons, educational decay, the dysfunction of communities that have been gutted and stripped by Mitt Romney types or the Goldman Sachs to the 100th power onto us.

This is a society that will collapse, will never nationalize pride, planning, health care, insurance, housing, food, energy, because the propaganda of Madison Avenue has psychologically neutered and evicerated common sense and systems thinking.

Let it be known how insipid and inane Europe has become. Absolute stupidity. The leaders there have friendly exotic accents, but they are as dumb as Biden and Trump and the entire litany of folk going into politics. They are hateful, greedy, ready to fleece. The lies about Ukraine, in 2022, is a harbinger to come. They want war, chaos, lies and perversions to be the systems that hold people down.

Men, out here, on their own, or hobbled by women — so many men are children, treated as such by their wives or still alive mothers. These men are two and four faced, and they are inherently broken, left as mental and spiritual roadkill. The cynicism is a cancer eating at their organs and their brains.

So many are there lording over those who are more broken and left as road kill, left to subsist. We got so many broken men in high places. Imagine, Biden wanting a son-of-a-bitch anti-Social Security, pro-privitization felon to be the next guy running Social Security. Running it into the arms of the bankers and financiers, and into the ground.

Each day I run into more discontented men, but many have no way out of their hate, their retrograde thinking, their uncreative step forward, their back-peddling to a time that never really existed.

Except, with 150 million in the USA when I was born in 1957, and then now 350 million, you can see that the country has not improved in those 65 years: better DMV, better education, better electrical grid, better food systems, better health care, better citizens, better arts, better readers, better communities. In fact, those 65 years, with that population growth, and the disease of consumerism and affluence and wasted excess. Now, we have more on thin ice, many more precarious, and many are over-schools, over-credentialed, and that in itself has created a more compliant society.

More discontent, but no guts or glory. No massive protests in the streets. Blockades. No solidarity. Exactly what the handlers and minders want — atomization of society. A world of discontent but not tools for insurrection, revolution, no rolling strikes.

Go along to get along. Better to have the lesser of two evils. Rather hit the wall at 50 mph than 80 mph.

Men drinking more, believing in all sorts of bizarre conspiracies, devils advocating everything, denigrating anyone with a mind, or anyone who has seven counter-intuitive ideas on one issue churning in the old noggin.

Duck and cover. Everyone man/woman has his/her/their castle. Every opinion is a-okay.


A new report, entitled “Top Ten Toxic Threats,” co-authored by the Blacksmith Institute and the Green Cross, shines a light on the world’s most polluted places and the extent to which those living in them are affected

Again, so many American men who have no sense of the world, how systems of pollution and starvation and death are tied to this lust for Capitalism to reign supreme over everything.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: