Today’s prompt is all about hair. Truth is, I don’t care about hair. This may have been an advantage to my kids who have wanted to express themselves with their hair. (Maybe later I will gather photos and share.) It has never been a hill I’ve been inclined to die on. (Actually, I like living and I’m awfully fond of my own agency, so there are not a lot of hills I’m inclined to die on.)
As for my hair, I never did the back of my hair as a kid, because I just didn’t care. Most of the time I go with the messy bun simply because I am inept with a round brush, I don’t want to spend any time on my hair and I want my hair out of my face.
In any case, I have to get up early to complete these prompts before work, only sometimes they don’t come until later in the day and since I was in the mood to write early this morning anyway and I’ve had a few things on my mind, I will dispense with the hair and post what I wrote this morning:
(Trigger warning: waxing both long and political here. Yikes!)
Yesterday I read a thought-provoking article about Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis and how we are all to blame for the pickle we find ourselves in with this election.
Last night as I read the bittersweet story of the unlikely friendship between a poor, illiterate prisoner and the editor of an encyclopedia, it struck me how we so easily sit–smug in our literacy and our education–in judgment of those who never had similar opportunities and who never seem to catch a break. Instead of educating them or giving them a hand up, we simply throw them in prison. Again and again and again.
This morning I read this astute observation from Rick Soulier, who posted a story about Carrie Tolstedt: “Carrie Tolstedt, the Wells Fargo Bank executive in charge of the unit where employees opened more than 2 million unauthorized customer accounts – thereby committing “unfair and abusive practices under federal law,” according to the head of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — was not fired. Instead, she’s leaving the bank with a pay package of $124.6 million.
Poor kids go to prison for possessing a few ounces of cocaine. Top Wall Street executives defraud millions of customers and get a fortune. If this isn’t a rigged game, then I do not know a rigged game.”
This right on the heels of Mylan CEO Heather Bresch’s 400% increase in pay as she and her company extort ridiculous profits from parents of children who can’t breathe.
Rick is correct. This is a rigged game.
It occurs to me that the frustration of the people in this election is not simply because we cannot trust either of the candidates or because the behavior we’ve seen throughout this election cycle has been, to be frank, deplorable. It is, in part, because we have had enough. We recognize that it is a rigged game. We are done with the status quo. We are desperate, yet powerless, to upend it.
While I continue to deplore the damaging racism, bigotry, misogyny and the complete lack of respect that has so freely flowed these past several months, I believe I now have a tiny awareness of at least one of the roots of the unrest. The people most ill-served by the system are growing tired of playing a rigged game.
I don’t blame them. I don’t know how to make things right. But I can no longer sit comfortable and smug in privilege I was simply born into. At the very least, I need to publicly state that this is wrong. And we need to fix it.
[Day 13 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir and I’m already off-script.]