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August, 2005


Derailed in Washington, Be the Change!
by Stephen Simac

I almost became a Moonie after I finished off their free baloney sandwich and strawberry Kool-Aid dinner. I was really hungry with no money in Washington D.C. at the time. I still have no money. Perhaps that was what made the room and board for a fundraising position sound so good.
This really cute Moonie Goddess almost talked me into it. This was after the educational movie about Reverend Moon. I didn't know that he was the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, but actually a little more powerful, a brighter Sun, this time around, but it made sense. After all he is a lot wealthier with more followers while he's alive than Jesus was. The president's father is a Moonie, she said.
Sure there was that little moneychanger/tax fraud thing, but he served his time, paid his fine. And he own the Washington Times. The CIA thought he was bona fide. She had me ready to sign on for a while there when she told me about Moon's famous mass marriages.
She seemed to imply that we could get hitched, if I worked hard for his Holiness. The hours were killer though. I'm susceptible to cults, but they usually don't want me. The Moonies sounded sketchier than the Krishnas, longer hours with worse food.

"It all comes from having a dog as a Nurse. She decided to roll the shadow up and put it carefully away in a drawer."

It's kinda weird how my mind works, but it's gotten me out of more trouble than it's gotten me into, I say. Although, somehow it had gotten me into my current situation. Flat broke, not hungry but with painful gas and really needing a place to rest, if not sleep.
My racing thoughts haven't given me any sleep for a while now. It's not easy solving all the Really, Really Big Problems of America. Maybe I should never have made that New Year's Resolution. I was just so fed up with the doom and gloom about overwhelming problems, I decided to be all Solution Oriented.
Of course, I've never kept a new year's resolution into summer before. Maybe it was time to give it up as a lost cause. Sink into a deep Depression about how hopeless everything is, instead of trying to make things better.
I was starting to feel really miserable and sorry for myself. Blaming the World for not appreciating my Genius. All I wanted to do was help. I trudged along, one foot in front of the other, while I considered my failures, my flaws, my history of grand plans gone awry.
Slumping along the concrete sidewalks of our nation's capital, dressed darkly, jaywalking frequently, seriously depressed. Then a blast of insight, like a blaring horn with high beams blew me onto the sidewalk.

"No one ever gets over the first unfairness; no one except Peter. He often met it but he always forgot it. That was the real difference between him and all the rest."

I'd been all wrong. I wasn't a Loser, a Bottom on the Economic Slide. I was the wave of the American Future. Homeless, Uninsured, Clinically Insane. Ready to get on disability, with free psych meds. I could always sell those.
I'd seen a bumper Sticker on the SUV that almost ran me down.
Be the Change! I liked it. Don't just talk about it, or consider it as an intellectual exercise. Become what you want to change. Wait that's not right, that's why the 60's revolution petered out, rebellious youth had been assimilated.
Things don't always have to make sense. I pulled out my research bible, Massive Change by the Institute without Boundaries. One sentence made it all clear where I'd gone wrong. (not bold-don't leave this note in Don.)"The old fashioned notion of an individual with a dream of perfection is being replaced by distributed problem solving and team based multi-disciplinary practice. Problems are taken up everywhere, solution are developed and tested and contributed to the global commons and those ideas are tested against other solutions," in a "distributed, plural collaborative." Whatever that means.
I'd been trying to do it all on my own, a narcissistic personality disorder, in the new distributed world. Now flowering into full blown bipolar with psychotic features, just like our political leaders. I'd wanted to help the mentally ill with stress reduction, natural foods and nutritional supplements, now I was one.
It's actually quite interesting. I kept walking while mulling this over, while balancing Massive Change on my head. It calmed me, a soothing koan of a conundrum.

"Peter was such a small boy, that one tends to wonder at the man's hatred of him. True he had flung Hook's arm to the crocodile."

Every once in a while when negative thoughts started to intrude, I'd snap my fingers three times and bark like a dog. Works every time. I reflected on how I'd gotten into this mess. Since January, I've been trying to solve the problems of America with really great ideas. I had no problem whipping solutions up out of thin air.
I'd already figured out how to solve the health care crisis by outsourcing medical treatment to more affordable countries, which also solved Social Security. Affordable Housing was solved with my concept for retrofitting trailers with reinforced concrete to make them hurricane/fire/earthquake resistant. Using my hypothetical People's Krete, made from recycled trash and carbon dioxide, to erode landfills and lower global warming at the same time.
My CycleTrain! and SafetyCycle! are going to improve Americans' health and fitness while reducing traffic and pollution. I'd improved sidewalks by making them out of shredded tires, and turned tires into raised crosswalks as speed humps. Oh, there was a bunch of other great ideas, I wrote 'em down somewhere.
Ideas are like seeds, the morphogenetic vibration of the idea sends roots into consensus reality. But if you cast them on asphalt, the seed ain't got a chance unless it's an invasive species.

"They called Peter the Great White Father, prostrating themselves before him; and he liked this tremendously, so that it was not really good for him."

So I took my comprehensive Solution Oriented plan to Washington where invasive species thrive. Turns out that think tanks, the press, even his Holiness Reverend Moon aren't really interested in making things better. They are doing just fine with things as they are.
So now I was what I had tried to change. No health care, no housing, no transportation except shank's mare. Be the Change. It was like a curse, not a blessing.
Caught up in my thoughts, I had wandered near Foggy Bottom, Dick Cheney's underground fortress at the Naval Observatory. I could tell because of the regular explosions as he drilled deeper into Hell. There was a steady stream of well fed politicians and lobbyists walking by me to another fundraising dinner. Luckily I had condensed my Comprehensive Plan for Integral Improvement into a small booklet for accepted donations.
I'd gotten the idea from my friend the Prophet in the Wilderness, who had put out his Agenda for World Peace in one. He was mailing them to random celebrities and progressive politicians, but there's nothing like the face to face glad-hand technique. I always say. With a last little burst of social energy I insinuated my way into their little party and started talking. Not many people can get a word in edgewise when I get talking, so I figured I had until they called security.
You could call it aggressive panhandling, or just lobbying, but I mingled with the powerful and told them to Be the Change! I didn't bore them with the details of my grand ideas, just gave em a booklet for a small donation and moved on to the next. They were overweight, so they couldn't get away easily.
They started handing me cash. Promised to write it into federal legislation. They might have had me confused with an Indian Gaming lobbyist. Before long I had enough for cab fare out of this corrupt swamp of a capitol. Try as hard as I could, I could not solve the mess we call national politics, they've have all been rented to the highest bidders.
Might have to just give up the whole voting thing and appoint legislators by lottery. Give everyone a shot at it, comprehensive medical care, guaranteed pension, free postage, decent pay for part time job. First, Do no Harm could be their motto.
I stumbled out of Cheney's undisclosed location and waved down a taxi. Just take me to the nearest plural, distributive collaborative was the last thing I said before collapsing in the back seat. Luckily it was a Rainbow Taxi.

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