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Can You Hear Us Yet?

By Rick Smith

As the world burns in the fires of poverty and cash free-flows to the pockets of robber barons, our press is playing As The World Turns.

Our politicians are treated as celebrities, while our corporate overlords operate in secrecy; turning dials, greasing wheels, and watching the whole. thing. burn. Can you hear us yet? No?

Well, here’s some real top stories, Personal Storyteller‘s style!

Here’s a top story for ya…

I met a man outside the local Red Cross building last Saturday. I was there to take CPR classes. It’s a compulsion of mine, ever since my sons were young, to stay CPR certified. I was standing outside the building, finishing the last sips of a soda and waiting for the class to begin.

I went in, and there, amongst a sea of second-hand clothes, was a confused-looking man of about sixty. He was disheveled and dirty and he stank but there was a defiance in his eyes that his obvious shame would not kill.

Those blazing, proud eyes were downcast as he sauntered between a rack of jeans and a rack of men’s shirts. I sat on a bench in the lobby and enjoyed the air conditioning. Suddenly he came to me and stood beside me for a moment. He wanted to say something.

“How are ya, sir?” I asked.

“None too good. Hard times.”

“I understand.”

“I don’t complain. I worked hard most of my life. Had some fun. Now I guess I’m payin dues. Say, you don’t know when the kitchen opens, do you?”

“Nope, sure don’t.”

He nodded. “Yeah…” he sighed. Then he said something that should shame every one of the mindless talking heads. ” You think at some point these news people are gonna come report on the lines outside this place? I mean, they don’t always have have room or food enough to feed people. So we get here early.”

My mouth opened. Then closed. “How…how long is the line?”

He chuckled. “You ain’t eat at the soup kitchen have you?”

I shook my head.

“From there,” he said pointing to the kitchen at the end of the hall, “to there,” he said, turning around and waving his hand to encompass the entire side of the building.


“Yeah. Damn.”

Out here the world is burning. I struggle to pay bills, this man struggles to eat and survive. And hundreds of others like him wait to eat in my little town. As the world burns our corporate media plays As The World Turns with celebrity congressmen and women.

His question was a just, honorable question. One well-put to our corporate media, our government, and the world in general.

When is the top story going to be

  • the struggling soup kitchens?
  • the lines at the unemployment offices?
  • how many college kids are moving back in with their families because they cannot find jobs with their degrees?
  • the abject poverty of minority communities?
  • how many families have had to move in with close relatives just to survive?
  • how REAGAN taxed the nation more!
  • the fact that plunging headfirst into the baby boom generation’s retirement with revenue levels like these is a JOKE!

When is the top story going to cover how our world is burning?

All while you enjoy your soap operas and enjoy the latest gossip about your favorite celebrities.

Here’s another TOP STORY…

My son works part time as a juvenile counselor for troubled youths. His wife works as a lab tech at a local hospital. Both love their jobs, but they still cannot make ends meet because my son was busted down–thanks budget cuts!!!–to part time.

What did they do? Did they say, “You know, we need to cut out that whole pesky “eating” thing! We don’t have a revenue problem, we just spent too much on food!” Um…NO! My son said, “We need more money.” So he collects more REVENUE as a bag boy at a local grocery store.

THESE are the choices that we have to make. Perhaps the Government needs to get a “second job.” And there are BILLIONAIRES out there that can contribute to the cause!

Can you hear us yet? No?

How about this one…TOP STORY… IT’S NOT OUR FAULT!

The housing crisis, the disastrous tax cuts, the endless wars, the gutting of our safety net. WE ARE NOT THE GREEDY ONES HERE! So, corporate media, the next time you dedicate ten minutes to a sex scandal, why not at least dedicate FIVE minutes to how our teachers are being fired en mass!

Dedicate five minutes to how we’re spending our asses off on tax cuts while our world burns.

Dedicate a few minutes discussing the priorities of this failing republic. Because they are totally, completely, bass-ackwards!

Can You Hear Us Now?

(Feel free to add your own Personal Storytellers TOP STORY. The corporate media won’t give a damn, but I’ll be here)

/rant off

Originally posted to Personal Storytellers on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 12:07 AM PDT.

About Rick Smith

Rick Smith lives in North Carolina. He is a former teamster who is retired and lives with a disability. He is loved by a wonderful family, and is a proud grandfather. Rick is also a proud Democrat, and a union supporter. He enjoys reading, playing guitar, and telling stories,

Editor’s Note: Minor editing was done to remove some minor profanity, and to clean up formatting.


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