I miss you guys and gals

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Just thought I’d pop in and say hello to all you dharma bums out there. I’ve been pounding the streets looking for work and finding that what is out there is either demeaning, mind numbing or something I’m over qualified for, and nothing will pay me enough to live on and climb out of debt with. Truly, we are wage slaves for rent, and that is more apparent now than ever. When Corporatists speak of freedom it is the freedom to rob you and your freedom to starve that they speak of. Let every corporatist feel the hunger and cold of poverty so that they know of the rotten fruit they have sown.

It is, to be blunt, fucking frustrating.

My computer has a virus and is down, so I can’t weigh in on subjects the way I am used to, but my absence from the sunny shores of DD has bothered me tremendously, as I miss the friends I have here, so I thought I’d offer this meager explanation as a way to stay in touch and solicit all the ponies you have. I need them now more than ever.

    I’ll leave the politics aside for now, and get more personal. I am curious to hear how things are in your respective worlds, my dear Dharma Bums. I hope all is well, and if not I hope it is getting better. Don’t be afraid to share your good news with me, I’ll be glad to know that someone who isn’t on the wrong side of the class was is doing better nowadays, and if things do suck for you too let me know. You’ll never find another more sympathetic ear as mine.

Wishing you all well in the trenches of the class war.



(P.S. I’m typing on my cellphone, and since I haven’t paid the bill in months I am on whatever free WiFi I can pick up. I may not respond immediately to comments, but I’ll try to keep up as much as coverage and chance allow.)



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  1. A man who has wealth of friends will never be impoverished.

    • Edger on December 2, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    whatever has infected your machine, try uninstalling it and use another AV program. Avast Home Edition is a good free one…

    • Joy B. on December 2, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    …as sort of a mid-life crisis. Things will never get better for us. They have us just where they want us, though a few ten million of us must die before they’ll let it get better, and then only marginally. The worst is yet to come, and come it must before people in this country wake up and change things for themselves. The sheep won’t gang up and head-butt the wolves picking off weaklings on the flock’s fringes. It’s when they start going after the healthy young’uns in the center that the rams and ewes turn. Meanwhile, that grumpy-assed Border Collie who keeps leading them purposefully into wolf pack territory will be the first to go (he’s just 3 degrees from a wolf himself)…

  2. hope you’re staying warm!

    You have to figure a way to stay connected and online!!! Can you look for a cheap used recycled laptop or something? Has your friend at progressive electorate had any luck raising any $$$ for you?

  3. in these tough times.

  4. scared and hunkered down here in LA, but things are still okay, and I’m working a lot of overtime to keep it that way.  Hope things turn up for you soon.

    • TMC on December 3, 2009 at 12:50 am

    I’ve been so busy with MSF matters, I have had to cut back on the time I spend here. Today was no exception, but this was expected as my sabbatical is rapidly coming to an and and i will be cleared to return to the field in January. Don’t give up, something will turn up when you least expect it.

    I use Avast Anti-Virus and have had great results with it. Tonight is Full Moon. I will remember you tonight when we light the fire for the circle. Take care.

  5. You are not alone, but you already knew that. Took me forever to find a job. It pays a little less than my lifeguard gig from 1980-something, but at least it is outdoors and not connected to consumer products.

    Most of those who will be working with me probably deserve an easier life. Surely those living with me do. I’m grateful it is not worse already, even without a clue how to pay the mortgage.

    You have already been through more trying times than I have, and I wish the best for you. We’re all in this together.

  6. I wish I could point you towards any jobs in the city but all I know of are ‘friends and family’ (union or closed).  As to viruses go Linux, free, dependable, safe and pretty easy to use once you get it set up which is easy these days.  

    • sharon on December 3, 2009 at 2:44 am

    start looking into student loans, grants, and scholarships and apply at either cuny or suny schools.  you should be able to swing it with financial aid and a loan.  i can’t imagine you wouldn’t qualify for aid – both on a needs and achievement basis.  take a demeaning job that won’t pay you that much – makes you eligible for more grant money – and get applications in so that you will be in school in the fall.  the way the world works these days, you are better off with a a college degree than not.  can you make a living off your writing without it?  possibly, i don’t know, but i do know that when the writing doesn’t pay the bills, it is good to have a college degree on your resume.  plus my guess is that you would enjoy the socratic method used in most classrooms and the exposure to academia.  if you do well in a suny or cuny school, but want to broaden your horizons, you can always transfer to another school and with a strong transcript will most likely be eligible for more aid.  how do i know this?  i did it.  i went to boston college for two years and then took a leave of absence and traveled and worked for a few years.  i knew it was time to return to school when i realized i would be unlikely to find myself in more than an administrative capacity without it – as smart and capable as i was.  when i returned to school it was at the university of hawai’i – friends lived in hawai’i and let me stay with them for free.  i made too much money for aid, but the student loan was enough to get me through a semester.  after a semester, my reduced income allowed me to qualify for aid.  after two semesters i transferred to mills college in oakland, ca.  mills is  a private women’s college on the order of wellesley, smith, etc.  i was given a scholarship that paid nearly all of my tuition/room & board expenses.  a student loan and a work study job made up the difference.  my parents paid for my first two years at bc, but i paid and my grants/scholarships paid for everything else.  you, too, can do this.  and if you want to build a career that involves writing/journalism, i think you may need to strongly consider continuing your formal education.  if you are in school or using your mind in other meaningful ways, you will be glad that your “day job” doesn’t ask that much of you and the demeaning aspect will be easier to tolerate – as diane w well knows.  i really hope you give this some thought because you are clearly an intelligent guy.  take a few minutes and check out hunter college or even fit where i go to school now.  the liberal arts profs there are all excellent, from top schools, and i am consistently impressed.  the students are less motivated than i would like, but you can get a lot from the teachers.  there are suny and cuny schools all over the city if you decide to stay in nyc.

  7. Shoot me an email, this username at gmail. I will see what I can do to help.

    • jamess on December 3, 2009 at 4:13 am

    good luck to you, man.

    I’ve been there.

    School is a great idea,

    and usually pays off in the long run.

    back when it was “in between ‘careers’ ”

    I “got by” for a few years,

    by showing up at the Manpower Office,

    1st thing every morning,

    “until everyone knew my name”

    and then there was that lost decade as

    a “security guard” — which is a growth industry now, I hear.

    It can pay a decent wage. But boring as hell,

    in between, infrequent moments of sheer fear.

    Once I got my programming degree,

    all those “slave wage opportunities” changed for the better.

    But anyway you slice it,

    most jobs suck.

    My “career” these days, usually has me

    on the edge of a heart attack,

    under palatability anvil of stress, most days.

    5 years of downsizing of the programming staff,

    has left me, holding the bag, for a LOT of messed up Projects.

    But inspite of all that,

    “I’m just glad I have a Job” —

    trust me, it’s better than Not having one.

    It takes a while to reach your career goals,

    a long while. AND WHEN you finally get there,

    it’s not what you’d thought it would be.

    Best to make the most of the current time.

    It’s all we got in the long run, anyways:

    making the most of Now,

    and whatever fix, I currently happen to be in.

    (PS. call Nicole S. maybe she needs a gopher, etc.?)


    and Do anything

    (if legal)

    • banger on December 3, 2009 at 4:37 am

    Thank you for saying class war — but it’s more than that, it is a war with no possible winners. This does not benefit the rich at all. I spend a good deal of time with wealthy people though I’m not. They feel, at this point, that they are as trapped as anyone in a mess they do not understand and really don’t want to understand. They feel on the outs as well.

    I think what we have is an oligarchy that is rather narrow in scope. I think they have power and everybody else does not other than what their money can buy. But the power I’m talking about is not simply money power but connections and alliances with an international elite that increasingly run the world under an Imperial system. It is not an “American” empire at all, though much of it is based in NYC and Washington DC. It is a stateless class with increasingly lessened alleigance to their own countries and cultures.

    Since you asked I’m doing well — going through tremendous changes and realizing I’ve lived a shadow of a life and I’m not willing to do it anymore. My oldest son let me have it this Thanksgiving, in a nice way. I found it very helpful to be told off by him. It’s a very long story.

  8. Hang tough, things will turn for the better.

    There`s a lot of people here with good advice, though I don`t have any for you myself.

    As Banger said about class, I also think we are all on the same boat though some are on different decks.

    We as passengers have no control on where the boat is steered, even though it`s called the “SS DEMOCRACY”.

  9. …beyond what I said in your last(?) diary on this.  I like the education opportunities mentioned by Sharon.  I just can’t recommend the career course in this society.  It’s all stacked against what is human (to me at least).

    I know my views may be extreme, but I can’t think we get anywhere by cooperating with this destructive system.  

    When I think of you, I think of the conflict going on with the students at the University of California, my Alma Mater; the administration is raising their fees some 30%.

    I hope that in their protests and strikes they remain mindful of the fact that the ‘way of this system’ is against them.  Even if they win this battle and get the fee increase reduced somewhat, which doesn’t look likely, the battle will continue year after year for them and for all of us until we succeed in changing the system altogether.

    I hope you will find a valid and happy way to keep going and that you can and will continue to fight to change the travesty our nation has become.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  10. I heard that one of the students’ daddy got shot in the head last weekend.  He is under sedation and breathing with a tube.  He is around 20 years old.  The student is four years old and bad CP.  The mom is around 20, also.  This town is gettin’ me down.  

    In other news, last night, I picked up my computer after a three week stay at the computer shop.

  11. (P.S. I’m typing on my cellphone, and since I haven’t paid the bill in months I am on whatever free WiFi I can pick up. I may not respond immediately to comments, but I’ll try to keep up as much as coverage and chance allow.)

  12. Union organizing. Went to a progressive job fair in Portland Or. a while back. My resume got icy stares from most of the booths. But the AFL-CIO rep after a phone interview later that night was about to fly me to a orientation meeeting in LA. The job would involve alot of traveling and I live with my elderly mother so I didn’t take the offer. If they were about to take a pizza man with some college, its a viable thing to look into.

  13. My friend told me his PC had virus today. I said I dunno what’s the best software to cure it, (Mac here) but why not try googling, reading reviews, etc.

    He said he was going to google something like “best virus protection software”. He did — and found a deal from McAfee where he paid $40, but it has a $30 print-out and mail-in rebate. So it will cost him $10 total!

    He downloaded it and it fixed the computer.  

    He had been running around to places like Costco, finding $50 choices. I emailed him for a link, will send to you if I find it.

    • dkmich on December 3, 2009 at 12:35 pm


    This link will help you find your closest one-stop.  They might be able to give you tuition assistance as well.  If you need any program help, my email is posted.  

    If you have a lot of debt, this might be the time to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You local legal aid office or law school can probably help you at no cost.  

    We hired a guy with two Masters and a Ph.D for $15/hr. with zippo benefits.  It gave him something while he job searched.  He had a great attitude, and our customers loved him.  He helped them file for unemployment.    Money is money.   Good luck.    

    • Arctor on December 3, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    leaves me dumbfounded how a society with needs can allow the lives of so many intelligent, energetic people to be wasted. Can’t anyone out there figure out a way that new businesses could be formed with the nucleus of that great labor pool wasting away? Seriously, I wish I was an entrepeneur, there has to be potential here. Best wishes Jesse, don’t give up!

  14. ….It is not necessary for eagles to be crows”.—-Sitting Bull

    For whatever reason this Sitting Bull quote seemed like it might be helpful.

    I’m looking for work also. My two part time jobs aren’t quite doing it. Hope to get a ski instructor job this weekend, I’m hoping to make the final cut , find out sunday.

  15. I actually read this earlier, but I got all teared up and couldn’t respond, mostly out of frustration and a deep empathy for what you and so many are going through — I’ve been there — I know what it feels like, to feel panic, to not sleep, all of those “aging” anxieties.  Going into debt just to job search, working jobs that didn’t cut it, etc. Endless weekends going through newspapers, every source imaginable, but I never gave up.  

    I couldn’t respond because I have nothing, but nothing to offer you, or anyone in your’s and the shoes of others —  other than to encourage you not give up — get a job to look for a job!  

    Also, I think Sharon’s ideas are good, as well — certainly, worth checking into.

    The best, MoT!

  16. you. I miss you too. Been looking for you both here and there. I have been MIA myself as first me, then the computer got a virus. Regarding your computer there is a virus which the geeks who fixed both our sick computers, says is not really a virus but a scam. It replicates windows security  and tells you your infected and then tries to sell you protection under the name of a antivirus program. It is Russian and is really just after your credit card numbers. The geek said that half the computers in his shop were infected with this.

    I didn’t bite and open any of the windows or pop ups it sent at me as they didn’t look right and had some dicey English mistakes, but it still kept coming. They don’t know how it get’s in and Bill Gates has a 50,000$ bounty offered for anyone who can figure out how and where it’s operating. The geeks also said it can get past most anti virus programs they installed something called Malwarebytes Anti- Malware, which removes this nasty scam and Kasperky Anti-Virus that is free for a month and then kicks in costing money. They said it’s a good one.

    Good luck to you in your search for work. How sad that most of the really smart young people I know are either jobless or making lattes. We are getting by as were a outsourcing source for the bigger fish, who are waiting for the biggest sharks to start spending. Our income is down 30% and that’s tough but nothing like having none. We need to start our own economy one that isn’t controlled by the gamblers and the extortionists and drug pushers, one that relies on community and whose goal is to create a common good for all those who need work. NY city is a hard place to be in the best of times, but leaving is sometimes not an option.                    

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